Standard Article

Thermoregulation in Vertebrates

  1. John R Speakman

Published Online: 25 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001824



How to Cite

Speakman, J. R. 2001. Thermoregulation in Vertebrates. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 APR 2001


Body temperature is one of the most important factors influencing animal function. Vertebrate animals generally regulate their body temperatures within quite narrow limits, but use different mechanisms to achieve this stability. In some circumstances, maintaining a high stable body temperature is not possible and several vertebrate groups have involved adaptive responses, such as torpor and hibernation, to overcome these problems.


  • body temperature;
  • endothermy;
  • exothermy;
  • homeothermy;
  • poikilothermy