Articles

Endothermy and activity in vertebrates

Science  09 Nov 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4419, pp. 649-654
DOI: 10.1126/science.493968

Abstract

Resting and maximal levels of oxygen consumption of endothermic vertebrates exceed those of ectotherms by an average of five- to tenfold. Endotherms have a much broader range of activity that can be sustained by this augmented aerobic metabolism. Ectotherms are more reliant upon, and limited by, anaerobic metabolism during activity. A principal factor in the evolution of endothermy was the increase in aerobic capacities to support sustained activity.

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