Oxygen offers an additional advantage to organisms not mentioned in the text. The easy availability of oxygen lifted constraints on maximum metabolic rate that limit the metabolism of aquatic animals. A "speeded up" metabolism, along with an ability now to refrigerate the body, made possible the metabolic "life style" of endothermy or "warm-bloodedness." A large portion of an endother-mic animal's energy consumption is devoted strictly to the production of heat. Having an internal source of heat enabled animals to elevate and begin to regulate body temperature at the high and steady levels that characterize mammals and birds.
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