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Old 12/26/2007, 07:20 PM   #11
greenbean36191
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
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The difference in wearing shorts for you and the Floridian is one of perception, not physiology. You're warm blooded, so all of your metabolic reactions still happen at the same temperature and while he may feel more uncomfortable he's no more likely to get hypothermia.

With cold blooded animals like crabs, the outside temperature causes real internal changes. The proteins that make up their bodies and the enzymes that make their metabolism work are specifically designed for certain temp ranges. Outside of those ranges things start to literally fall apart. Within certain limits the types of proteins can be changed to shift the working range, but usually not a whole lot. Most animals also have mechanisms that allow them to deal with periods of unusually hot or cold temperatures, but eventually those will be overwhelmed if things don't go back to normal. Long term acclimation can help ramp up the repair mechanisms but it still doesn't provide a long term solution to drastically warmer temperatures. That has to come through evolution.

When you put coldblooded animals in unnaturally warm conditions you ask their bodies to work harder while they're less able to do so.


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