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Comparison of different thermoregulation responses to hot and cold climates

The main organ in the human body that monitors and regulates body temperature is the hypothalamus (Boon, N. et al, 2006). In an effort to maintain the normal body temperature of 36-37.4 degrees Celsius, various mechanisms come into play when the body is exposed to increased or decreased environmental temperature (Sukker, M. et al, 2000). As warm-blooded mammals, humans maintain homeostasis by eliciting various responses of the receptors in the different parts of the body (Smil, V., 2008) and in employing various adaptive mechanisms that will result to acclimation either in a hot or cold climate (Parsons, K., 2003; Witzmann, F., 2008; Mclafferty, E., 2009).

Thermoregulation of Humans to Cold Climates
Humans exposed to cold weathers or are living in cold climates have the major challenge of conserving heat (Witzmann, F., 2008). How the body accomplishes this involves two main mechanisms such as changes in the metabolism of the body and changes in the circulatory system (Marino, F. 2008; Gropper, S., et al, 2008). The former is used by the body in order to increase the production of heat (Blatteis, C., 1998) while the latter is used to reduce the loss of heat and divert blood flow to major organs during acute exposure to cold weather or environment (Marino, F., 2008). Once exposed to cold temperatures, the primary response of the body is the mobilization of autonomic response leading to vasoconstriction of the arteriovenous shunt followed by shivering (Sessler, D., 2009).

Finally, just like humans, the main challenge for animals living in hot climate is the losing of heat. Animals, especially mammals, accomplish this by increasing the blood flow to the extremities or to the surfaces of their skin. This way, they will lose more heat and maintain internal optimal body temperature (MacArdle, et. al., 2006; Roberts, S. and Harrison, J., 1998).  Other animals also resort to heat evaporation.

Animals have different thermoregulatory mechanisms in surviving in hot or cold climates. Others resort to behavioral changes in order to survive in arid deserts or in extremely cold places such as the Arctic region. However, most animals would depend on physiological processes in order to achieve their ultimate goal of survival. When found in places with hot climates, these animals learn to adapt to their environment through a number of ways. First, mammals can sweat and pant in order to release heat while some birds and animals resort to renal excretion of highly concentrated, small amounts of urine in order to conserve water. Others also either change their color or posture in order to shield themselves from extreme exposure to the sun. In very cold regions, animals learn to adapt by storing fats in their bodies. They also thermoregulate by drawing blood circulation to vital organs of their body. Others thermoregulate by keeping a constant temperature in their body through a number of  neuronal pathways. Animals in these cold climates also have higher metabolic rates, enough to allow these animals to increase production of heat.

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