Are Chicken Embryos Endotherms Or Ectotherms? A Laboratory Exercise Integrating Concepts In Thermoregulation And Metabolism

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Advances In Physiology Education


This investigative laboratory exercise uses the different relations between ambient temperature and metabolic rate in endotherms and ectotherms as a core concept to answer the following question: What thermoregulatory mode is employed by chicken embryos? Emphasis is placed on the physiological concepts that can be taught with this exercise, including methods for measuring rates of oxygen consumption, the relation between oxygen consumption and metabolic rate, the influence of temperature on metabolic rate, and the differences between endotherms and ectotherms both in the overall magnitude of metabolic rate and in the shape of the relation between metabolic rate and ambient temperature. Included in this article are respirometer designs suitable for teachers working with a wide variety of budgets and available equipment, specific laboratory protocols for collecting data, sample data, thought questions with sample answers, and suggestions for classroom implementation as a 1-, 2- or 3-wk laboratory exercise that can be taught at a variety of undergraduate levels.


This work has been provided to PubMed Central courtesy of the American Physiological Society.