body temperatures

From: Orca Network (howard@orcanetwork.org)
Date: Tue May 13 2003 - 18:54:59 EDT

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    I am Renee Villasenor a 3rd grade student i am looking for some information
    for my research about sea mammals that live in a very cold water.I need to
    know how are their fats in their body help them live in winter time.And I
    also want to know what are their boby temperature in winter time.Do they
    get to have fever?What are their normal temperature.Are sea animals have
    the same body temperature with land animals? Please help me i need to know
    this as soon as possible.Thank you so much......

    Dear Renee,

    Your question is interesting, but it is very general because there are many
    kinds of marine mammals that live in cold water. There are some
    similarities though, and while I don't specialize in medical questions,
    I'll give you some general answers.

    The layers of fats, or blubber, on marine mammals provide insulation from
    outside temperatures, just like your winter coat provides insulation when
    you go outside in winter. The outer skin may be very cold, but the internal
    organs remain at normal body temperature as long as the blubber layer is
    sufficient. Marine mammals' body temperatures vary, but are similar to land
    mammal temperatures, just under 100 degrees. Their temperature stays the
    same all year long, just like land mammals. That's what is meant by
    "warm-blooded." Like all mammals, if they are ill or fighting infections,
    they can develop high fevers.



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