Why are some creatures cold blooded vs hot blooded?


Why are some creatures cold blooded vs hot blooded?

In: 5

**TL;DR:** *Allows animals to fill more ecological niches out there, and as a species, survive in ways that other animals that aren’t similarly cold- or warm-blooded can’t do as well at.*

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Most animals are a combination of at least partially shaped by their environment, and built so they can reach the age of procreation and make more of themselves. Neither of these conditions is perfectly “optimized” and not every trait that an animal has helps with this situation.

But enough traits have to be both compatible with where they live or travel to, and able to equip the collection of animals for enough of the population to reach breeding age, or that collection of animals will die out.

Cold-blooded is one successful strategy: burn little energy keeping warm, and rely on the environment for enough warmth to operate. Have a big meal once in a while, or eat slow so you don’t overwhelm your food source. Have lots and lots of young.

Warm-blooded is another: override the environment by generating your own warmth, but consume a lot more food a lot more frequently to do so. Have fewer young, but nurture and feed the kids milk or hunt for them until they grow to the point where they look after themselves. Fewer eggs/babies, but more of them survive to make babies of their own.

In some cases, one choice works well while the other fails completely, and in others, both can co-exist in the same place because they were both successful paths to those animals making more of themselves.

And year, there’s all SORTS of exceptions because there’s also strategies for getting around the problems too, like some frogs freezing solid every winter or bats hibernating during the lean season. Nature’s pretty amazingly creative.