Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Ectotherms and Endotherms

Ectotherms vs Endotherms

Have you ever encountered or read the term cold-blooded being referred to a person? If so, then the first thing in your mind would not be the literal meaning of the word, but rather indicating the personality of that person, such as having no conscience or kindness. Being cold-hearted may not refer to human beings literally, but rather to reptiles and amphibians.

On the other hand, we as humans are part of the warm-blooded race. This race does not limit to human beings, but also include most terrestrial or land animals. What you have to consider though is that being warm-blooded or cold-blooded does not actually refer to the temperature of the blood, but the ability to regulate the temperature in the body. And basically, these terms are correctly named as ectotherms and endotherms.

But before we discuss their differences in length, we should first tackle on the importance of temperature regulation in our body. It is important that every animal in this world should have the adequate temperature in their bodies for important reasons. Having the right temperature helps the organs work normally and allows other parts to function. This is called thermoregulation, or the response of the body to regulate internal temperature.

Now that we are clear with it, let us now differentiate ectotherms from endotherms. First and foremost is ectotherm. As what I have discussed before, an ectotherm refers to cold-blooded animals, such as reptiles. By this definition, ectotherm is derived from the regulation internal temperature by way of using the outside temperature levels. Reptiles have no ability to control their own internal temperature and thus rely on the environment for such. Thus, when they feel the need to warm up, they bask under the heat of the sun. On the other hand, when they feel that they are overheated, then they go under a cool shade. This is because they need to stabilize their internal body temperature for normal organ functioning.

On the other hand, warm-blooded animals are endotherms. They do not rely on outside sources for temperature regulation but rather are able to automatically regulate their internal body temperatures. We, as human beings, are a very good sample to this. When we feel cold, we shiver; when we feel hot, we sweat. These internal responses help regulate our body so that normal processes can occur.

Basically, this is the distinction between an ectotherm and endotherm. But if you want to know more, you can ask an expert since this article provides basic information only.


1. Animals, whether mammals or reptiles, have different modes of temperature regulation to keep and maintain normal body processes.

2. Ectotherms, such as reptiles, rely on outside sources of temperature to regulate their internal body temperatures, thus maintaining the functioning of their organs.

3. Endotherms, like human beings, are able to automatically regulate their own internal body temperatures so that normal body processes are maintained.

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