Adam Parlin

Biology Graduate Student

Energetics and thermoregulatory strategy of a terrestrial and aquatic ectotherm

Turtles are ectothermic animals, meaning that the environmental conditions influence their body temperature. The goal of this study is to compare two methods of body temperature regulation: thermoconformity and thermoregulation. Thermoconformers strictly rely on the environment to dictate their body temperature whereas thermoregulators will actively seek out warm temperatures during the day to remain active. Previously, we collected data on body temperature, heart rate, and environmental temperatures on box turtles and found that they were thermoconforming with their environment. We will be running another experiment recording body temperature, heart rate, and environmental temperature on painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) in an enclosed pond at Miami University’s Ecology Research Center (ERC). Painted turtles commonly bask on logs and have been found to be thermoregulators when concerning body temperature regulation. By comparing painted turtles and box turtles, we will further our understanding of the differences in physiology related to temperature regulation and energetics in the field.