Explain how endotherms respond to heat and cold conditions in their environment - KCSE Biology Essay

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  1. What is homeostasis?
    (Mechanisms of) control and maintenance of a constant internal environment regardless of the external conditions;

  2. Name any three factors that must be maintained constant in mammalian bodies
    Temperature; Water; Salt or ion content; Carbon (IV) oxide; Glucose; amino acids;

  3. Explain how endotherms respond to heat and cold conditions in their environment
    Heat/hot conditions:

    Increased sweating; to lose heat through latent heat of vaporization;
    Dilation of arterioles under the skin; to bring more blood to the skin surface to lose heat to the atmosphere;
    Decreased body metabolism; to reduce heat generation;
    Erector pili muscles relax; making hair follicles to relax hence hair lies flat on skin, no air is trapped; to lose heat;
    Slow/reduced muscular activity due to slow metabolism; to reduce heat production;
    Panting to expose tongue and mouth; to release heat;
    Moving to shades to avoid direct heat;
    Aestivation; to escape the extreme heat; flapping of ears to create currents to carry away heat;

    Cold conditions:
    Stamping of feet; to generate heat;
    Basking in the sun to gain heat directly;
    Less production of sweat; to reduce water loss through latent heat of vaporization;
    Vasoconstriction of arterioles; hence less blood flow to the skin surface to reduce heat loss;
    increased metabolism through release of more thyroxine hormone; to generate heat;
    Erector pili muscles contract; pulling hair follicles hence hair is raised; to trap a layer of moist air; to prevent heat loss;
    shivering/rapid contraction of muscles; to yield heat to warm body;


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