Animal Life at Low Temperature - download pdf or read online

By John Davenport

ISBN-10: 940105035X

ISBN-13: 9789401050357

ISBN-10: 9401123446

ISBN-13: 9789401123440

To people, chilly has a fairly optimistic caliber. 'Frostbite', 'a nip within the air', 'biting cold', all exhibit the idea that of chilly as an entity which assaults the physique, numbing and destructive it within the approach. most likely the richness of descriptive English during this quarter stems from the early stories of a bunch of basically tropical apes, making their dwelling on a chilly and windswept island staff part­ approach among the Equator and the Arctic. in the course of a systematic schooling we quickly examine that there's no such factor as chilly, in simple terms a scarcity of warmth. chilly doesn't invade us; warmth easily deserts. Later nonetheless we come to understand that temperature is a mirrored image of kinetic power, and that the volume of kinetic strength in a method will depend on the rate of molecular circulate. regardless of this cognizance, it truly is tricky to desert the practical prejudices of palaeolithic Homo sapiens shivering in his huts and caves. for instance; appreciating polar endure is perhaps as cozy while swimming from ice floe to ice floe as we're whilst swimming in the summertime Mediterranean isn't really effortless; figuring out the thermal sensa­ tions of a 'cold-blooded' earthworm almost most unlikely. we should be cautious of an anthropocentric angle while contemplating the consequences of chilly on different species.

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Occasional stragglers soon die, but of starvation rather than directly because of cold. For these small species, staying put throughout the year is not an option (in contrast to large species such as the Emperor Penguin Aptenodytes Jorsteri which overwinters and breeds on ice). A few small high latitude birds are probably obligatory migrators because of cold alone. The snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is a small finch found north of the arctic circle in summer. At environmental temperatures below -40°C the core body temperature of the bird starts to fall.

In the northern hemisphere the lowest officially recorded temperature (-68°C) was reported from Oymyakon in easter Siberia, at least 400 km from the nearest coast and about 350 km south of the arctic circle. Paradoxically, it is appreciably warmer at the North Pole (situated on floating sea ice) than in northern Canada, Greenland or Siberia. The Antarctic situation is different, given the polar land masses and overlying ice-sheet, thousands of metres thick. 2°C) was recorded at the Vostok Base (USSR), nearly 1400 miles from the coast of Antarctica (and at an altitude of over 3000 m).

At the end of the summer, the birds retreat to lower latitudes. Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea) even fly from one pole to the other. They nest north of the arctic circle in the northern summer (perhaps in Greenland or northern Norway), then fly 20 000 km to the edge of the pack ice of Antarctica, where they forage during the southern summer. Most of their life is spent in constant light, with virtually permanent access to summer productivity. During their long migratory flights (almost entirely over the sea), they rarely alight, but take small fish at the surface en route, never closing the wings.

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Animal Life at Low Temperature by John Davenport

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