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There are two extremes of temperature regulation in organisms. Homeotherms are organisms that regulate body temperature to a constant level, usually above that of the ambient (surrounding) environment. A constant and relatively high body temperature enables biochemical reactions to occur in a relatively constant internal environment and at a relatively high rate. Most birds have a body temperature of about 40℃, whereas the temperature of most marine mammals is about 38℃. Because such temperatures are much higher than that of most seawater, marine homeotherms lose heat rapidly to the surrounding environment. There is another completely different style of living. Poikilotherms are organisms whose body temperature conforms to that of the ambient environment. All subtidal marine invertebrates and most fishes fit into this category. There is an interesting intermediate status in which body temperature is usually somewhat higher than ambient temperature. Strong-swimming fishes, such as skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna, have this intermediate status. Their rise in temperature above ambient conditions stems from metabolic heat generated by muscular activity (swimming) combined with a heat retention mechanism. The temperature rise is probably necessary to generate the increased biochemical reaction rates that are needed for sustained activity. In contrast, some intertidal animals are not true Poikilotherms, they maintain themselves at lower-than-ambient body temperature, using both evaporation and circulation of body fluids to avoid being heated at low tide by the Sun. Their body temperatures, therefore, differ from that of an inanimate object of the same size and shape that might be placed on the shore. Intertidal organisms absorb and lose heat directly to the air. Darker-colored forms can absorb more heat than can light-colored forms, therefore, variation in color can reflect differences in adaptation to the capture of solar energy at different latitudes. Ocean temperatures are usually less than 27℃ and may be less than 0℃ in some locations and during some seasons. Therefore, most homeothermic mammals and birds must lose heat continuously to the environment. Their skin is the main pathway of heat loss, especially by direct conduct of heat from the skin to the contacting colder water. Because animals have a circulatory system, heat loss from the body surface also occurs as warm interior blood is transferred and moves into contact with the periphery of the body. Their bodies also radiate heat, usually in the infrared part of the spectrum. Finally, as animals exhale, the resulting evaporation of water involves a considerable loss of heat. The first line of defense against heat loss is a well-insulated body surface. Marine birds deal with this problem by means of specially adapted feathers. A series of interlocking contour feathers encloses a thick layer of down feathers that traps stationary air, which in turn acts as an insulating layer. Whales, porpoises, and seals are insulated against the lower sea temperatures by a thick layer of subcutaneous fat. Sea otters lack such a layer, but they constantly preen and fluff up a relatively thick layer of fur. Such mechanisms are only partly successful, however, and to generate more body heat to maintain a constant temperature, marine mammals usually must have a higher metabolic rate than similarly sized terrestrial (land) animals. In marine mammals that have limbs, the limbs are the principal sources of heat loss because they expose a relatively greater amount of body surface area per unit volume to cold water. However, warm arterial blood must be supplied to limbs, such as the flipper of a porpoise. Heat loss in porpoises is minimized by a countercurrent heat exchanger. The arteries are surrounded by veins, within which blood is returning to the core of the animal. At any contact point, the artery, which is on the inside, is warmer than a surrounding vein, so heat is lost to the returning venous blood flow. Heat is thus reabsorbed and returned to the porpoise's body core. This spatial relationship of circulatory vessels minimizes heat loss to the flipper and thence to the water. Although the anatomical details are quite different, fishes such as skipjack tuna have a circulatory anatomy based on the same overall design. Arteries and veins in the near-surface musculature are in contact, and in arteries and veins, respectively, blood flows in opposite directions.