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It is important for organisms to maintain homeostasis in order to survive. An integral component of homeostasis is thermal regulation. Two ways organisms deal with thermoregulation is through behavioral and morphological adaptations. This experiment explores the behavioral adaptation of burrowing and the morphological adaptation of adding feathers in a model organism. It is predicted that burrowing and the addition of feathers will both help maintain homeostasis through thermoregulation. This study showed that the morphological change of adding feathers aided in thermoregulation, where as burrowing did not. Burrowing might not have proved advantageous in this experiment because of flaws in experimental design.


Organisms attempt to keep their selves in homeostasis in order to maintain their livelihood. A major factor to homeostasis is loss of heat or heat exhaustion. The thermal environment in which an organism lives has a tremendous impact on maintaining its homeostasis. There are numerous things that an organism can do to adjust to its thermal environment. For example, an organism can move to a different microenvironment that would keep it warmer or colder. Another adaptation is that an organism can use coating such as fur or feathers to help insulate. The purpose of this experiment is to explore a behavioral and morphological change that an organism can make in order to adapt to their thermal environment. It is proposed that if an organism burrows or is covered with leaves then it will retain heat more efficiently. It is also proposed that if an organism is covered with feathers, it will retain heat more efficiently than a naked organism. This is thought because insulators, whether l...

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...ich the burrowing Peeps were buried recently experienced a rain, which effectively lowered the surrounding ground temperature. Also, the sun was out which could have warmed the naked open Peeps. Issues such as this could be resolved by following up with a more extensive and precisely executed study.

This study could be followed up by using living organisms and studying the effect of being naked or covered in feathers/fur on thermal regulation. A living model organism could more accurately display the affects of morphological changes. There could also be improvements and follow ups to the behavioral adaptations study, in looking into other behavioral adaptations or using more ideal conditions to test the adaptations. This work is important because it shows how organisms across many different types of environments are able to regulate their body temperatures.
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