Friday June 10, 2022


Ectothermic animals do not maintain a constant body temperature but, instead, have variable temperatures that largely reflect the ambient temperature of their surroundings. This often makes them dependent on environmental warmth for their metabolic functioning. In warmer conditions, their metabolic rates increase and they become more active and soon need to consume more food in order to support themselves. 

Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute and Temple University have now conducted a study to establish experimentally whether marine predatory fish are more active and voracious in the warmer oceans of the world, and what the possible consequences of this may be for marine food webs that have existed for millennia but that now face ocean warming.

“It’s taken thousands of years to get to this state, and then suddenly we’re ramping up the temperature at a much higher rate,” said Gail Ashton, lead author of the report and marine biologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). “And we don’t really know the implications of that temperature increase.”

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