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Thermoregulation

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Reed Cleland

on 15 May 2013

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Transcript of Thermoregulation

Adaptation of Rabbits Thermoregulation: Jackrabbits The large ears of jackrabbits aid in thermoregulation. The large surface area provides a pathway where thermal energy can be released or absorbed from the environment. The blood vessels in the ears can increase or decrease the amount of thermal energy absorbed which monitors the internal temperature. The ears are responsible for regulating the internal temperature of rabbits when the external temperature is between -10 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius. Integumentary System:
Skin Dense hair (soft fur) found on rabbits helps to insulate them and prevent heat loss at times when the external temperature is colder than their internal temperature. Areas on the rabbit which are more sensitive to heat loss, contain more fur than other areas.

There is little fur found on the ears as they are responsible for heat loss whereas there is more fur on the rest of the jackrabbits body. Integumentary System:
Fur Capillaries are small blood vessels that branch out from arteries that ensure that every cell in an organisms body has access to blood. The walls of capillaries are only 1 cell thick which allows thermal energy to pass easily from the external environment into the internal environment and vice-versa. Areas where there are networks of capillaries are regions where thermal energy is controlled and maintained. The network found in jack rabbits ears is largely responsible for thermoregulation. Not only do the ears have a large surface area, but the concentration of capillaries in the small area allows for fast heat exchange. Circulatory System:
Capillaries Rabbits have a four chambered heart. Their heart has a similar structure as humans with four chambers. The heart has a left and right atrium and a left and right ventricle. The significance of the heart having four chambers is that it provides two cycles. One cycle is when the deoxygenated blood travels from the right atrium to the right ventricle to the lungs where the blood becomes oxygenated. Then the blood travels into the left atrium, to the left ventricle and then out of the heart and travels all around the body. This means that only oxygenated blood is traveling to the bodies organs and cells. This increases the efficiency of the organism specifically the efficiency of the rabbits thermoregulation. Circulatory System:
Four Chambered Heart Rabbits are endotherms which means that they use internal organs and organ systems to maintain their internal temperature. In order for the rabbit to maintain enough energy to control and monitor their temperature, they must consume enough energy from their food. Rabbits are herbivores which means they receive all of their nutrients and energy from grass and leaves they eat. As a result, their stomachs must be able to hold a large volume of food in order to sustain life. The stomach is the location where the food is held until in passes through the pylorus into the small intestines. Digestive System:
Stomach The small intestines in rabbits is extremely long. This is because the rabbit needs to absorb as much energy and nutrients from their food as possible. As the food travels through the small intestines, nutrients and minerals are absorbed which are necessary for the rabbit to survive. The first section of the small intestines is called the duodenum which is a loop where the food first enters the small intestines. The pancreas, gall bladder and liver, supply fluids into the small intestines to further digest the food such as bile. The small intestines continues to form sacculus rotundus which is an enlarged sac that is specific to rabbits. Following the sacculus rotundus is the large intestine which is the final stage where the rabbits are able to absorb nutrients. The length of the intestines is extremely important for the survival of the rabbit. Digestive System:
Small and Large Intestines Here is a diagram of the digestive system of a rabbit. As you can see, the stomach is quite large in relation to other organs and structures on the rabbit. The stomach is almost as big as the rabbits head which demonstrates how large the stomach needs to be in order to hold the food consumed by the rabbit

The food enters the stomach through the esophagus and leaves through the plyorus. The length of the small intestines and large intestines are important as the majority of the energy and nutrients in grass and leaves is absorbed during these stages. The different sections of the intestines are labeled which highlights the length of both the small and large intestines The picture on the left is a picture of a jack rabbits ears. As you can see, the skin and fur on the ears is extremely thin. With the thin skin, you are able to see the network of capillaries that are responsible for thermoreguation in rabbits. The picture on the right highlights what happens in the capillaries. This diagram highlights the four chambers of the heart found in rabbits. Works Cited
Integumentary System (Skin). (2010, April 2). Retrieved from Hub Pages: http://hotbabefatchicks.hubpages.com/hub/Integumentary-System-Skin
Anatomy and Physiology of Animals/The Gut and Digestion. (2013, March 22). Retrieved from Wiki Books: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Anatomy_and_Physiology_of_Animals/The_Gut_and_Digestion
Rabbit Digestive System. (2013). Retrieved from Pet Care Gt: http://www.petcaregt.com/rabbits/rabbitdigestivesystem.html
Rabbit: Circulatory System. (2013). Retrieved from Go Bookee: http://www.gobookee.com/get_book.php?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5mb2Z3ZWIuY29tL0VsZWN0cm9uaWNfSW1hZ2VzL09uZmlsZXMvU2NpQW5pQW5hdDgtNTdjLnBkZgpSYWJiaXQ6IENpcmN1bGF0b3J5IFN5c3RlbQ==
Alnaimy, A., Fayez , I., Habeeb , M., & Marai , M. (1994). Thermoregulation in rabbits. Retrieved from CIHEAM: http://om.ciheam.org/om/pdf/c08/95605277.pdf
Johnson-Delaney, C. A. (2006). Anatomy and Physiology of the Rabbit and Rodent. Retrieved from http://www.aemv.org/documents/2006_aemv_proceedings_2.pdf
THERMOREGULATION OF THE JACKRABBIT. (n.d.). Retrieved from UMN Bio-Inspired Design GD3 Studio 2012: http://umnbioinspired2012.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/berger_weisman_print.pdf
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