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.

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    Natural Areas

    The Miami University Natural Areas are located around the campus and while they comprise over 1000 acres with 17 miles of hiking trails, they are not easy to locate. The best way to find them is to view our downloadable map. In these Natural areas you can do many things: hike, jog, research, birdwatch, dog walk, explore, learn, discover, meditate or “just be”. Make this area an important part of your Miami experience. 

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    Oxford, OH 45056