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temperature

Figure 11.1 Energetics of the homeostatic control of body temperature. Rate of metabolic heat production, Mh, varies linearly with environmental temperature.

experiments that tampered with the hypothalamic "thermostat" of dogs, sheep, and pigeons. The rationale for these experiments requires some explaining, and it will help if I share a personal experience with you. I was a graduate student during the boycott of petroleum sales to the United States by oil-producing countries in the 1970s. In response, President Jimmy Carter issued a series of stringent energy conservation decrees, among them a dictate that all thermostats in government offices be turned down to 65oF during the winter. Because I was a student at a state university, this decree applied to the small office I shared with some of my compatriots. Unfortunately, the thermo stat in my office was defective, making the room considerably cooler than the decree allowed and keeping my fellow inmates and me in Dickensian misery as we shivered over our spreadsheets. We could not simply turn the thermostat up, though, because it was locked, and we had been warned of Dire Consequences should we attempt to change the setting. So, clever fellows that we were, we draped wet paper towels over the thermostat. The evaporation from the paper towels cooled the thermostat below the room's actual temperature, tricking it into thinking the room was cooler than it was. In response, the thermostat dutifully turned on the heat, which brought our actual room

Metabolic rate (W kg-1)

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