Cold-Blooded vs Warm-Blooded: Difference and Comparison

There are several species of animals that are present on Earth. They can be divided into many bases one of them is the type of blood an animal has. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Cold-blooded animals rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature.
  2. Warm-blooded animals maintain a constant body temperature internally, regardless of their environment.
  3. Cold-blooded animals have lower metabolic rates, while warm-blooded animals need more energy to maintain their body temperature.

Cold-Blooded vs Warm-Blooded 

The difference between cold-blooded and warm-blooded is that cold-blooded animals fail to maintain body temperature at a constant level. On the other hand, warm-blooded can maintain body temperature at a constant level. Cold-blooded depends on the surrounding environment’s heat. In contrast, warm-blooded use consumed food for the production of heat.  

Cold Blooded vs Warm Blooded
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Cold-blooded animals fail to regulate the temperature of the internal body and to warm themselves, they depend on sunlight. These animals remain inactive mainly in the cold or winter season.

Mitochondria produce energy, and they get utilized to maintain the body temperature. As a result, their body temperature lies between 35- 40 degrees C till their death. In terms of the immune system, they have a stronger one.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCold-BloodedWarm-Blooded
InterpretationIt is referred to as animals that fail to maintain body temperature at a constant level. It is referred to as animals that are able to maintain body temperature at a constant level.
Energy obtainedFrom the surrounding environmentFrom the food consumption
HeartTwo or three-chambered heartFour chambered heart
Body temperatureVaries with the temperature of the surroundingBetween 35-40 degrees C
ExamplesAmphibians and reptilesBirds and mammals

What is Cold-Blooded? 

Cold-blooded animals will not be able to regulate their body’s temperature in respect of the temperature of the surroundings. Due to different temperatures and different surroundings, their body temperature fluctuates.

They are majorly demonstrated in any thermoregulation mechanisms, and there are mainly three:  

  1. Poikilothermy- In this state, the internal temperature may vary. But the core temperature remains the same, just like the immediate environment ambient temperature.  
  2. Ectothermy- It refers to the mechanism in which animals utilize external means, such as with the help of the sun, to control the temperature of the body.  
  3. Heterothermy- In this mechanism, if the animals move to another environment, their body temperature too, gets affected and changes drastically.  

Cold-blooded animals have several advantages because they consume less food due to the need for less energy to survive than their warm-blooded counterparts.

cold blooded

What is Warm-Blooded? 

Warm-blooded animals are capable of maintaining a constant body temperature, and it does not matter what the temperature of the environment is. If they change their surroundings, their body temperature remains the same.

Warm-blooded animals have a completely different mechanism as compared to cold-blooded animals for thermoregulation, and there are mainly two:  

  1. Endothermy- This is the process in which the body temperature of animals is controlled through internal means like shivering, burning fat, and panting.  
  2. Homeothermy- It is the mechanism in which a constant internal temperature is maintained rather than just varying the external temperatures.  

Mostly warm-blooded animals maintain their body temperature at a constant level using a combination of endothermy and homeothermy mechanisms.  

Due to the high metabolism rate, they produce energy, and in return, warm-blooded animals get a lot of stamina. They are also active in the cold environment. As well as the immune system is also strong.

warm blooded

Main Differences Between Cold-Blooded and Warm-Blooded 

  1. Multiple proteins are present in cold-blooded animals, and they all perform at different temperatures. On the other hand, proteins are not temperature specific in warm-blooded animals.  
  2. For heat regulation in the body, cold-blooded animals do activities such as bathing in the sun, changing body colors, etc.
Difference Between Cold Blooded and Warm Blooded
References
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-018-0003-9
  2. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/228/4702/953.abstract

Last Updated : 20 August, 2023

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