BiologyDifference Between Cold Blooded and Warm Blooded Animals

Difference Between Cold Blooded and Warm Blooded Animals

All living creatures like humans, land animals, sea creatures, and birds have unique physical traits that set them apart based on whether they can control their body temperature or not. Warm-blooded animals can adjust their internal temperature to match the outside conditions. In contrast, cold-blooded animals can’t do this, which is why they struggle to survive in very hot or cold environments. Fish and reptiles are examples of cold-blooded animals, while mammals are warm-blooded.

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    Cold Blooded Animals

    Animals that can’t control their body temperature depending on the weather around them have a tough time surviving in extreme temperatures. Examples of these animals include reptiles and fish. The term “cold-blooded” describes animals whose body temperature is very similar to their surroundings. For example, a fish swimming in water at 40°F will have a body temperature close to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and in 60°F water, the same fish will have a body temperature of around 60°F.

    Cold-blooded animals can’t produce their heat, so they have to keep warm by moving around. When it gets colder, these animals become less active and might even become sluggish. For instance, an insect’s wing muscles can’t move quickly enough for it to fly when it’s too cold. Some moths vibrate their wing muscles, similar to how we shiver when we’re cold, and this muscle movement creates enough heat for them to take off. A grasshopper is usually too stiff and cold to hop after a chilly night, but once the sun warms it up, it can hop around like usual.

    Cold-Blooded Animals Examples


    Fish are animals that don’t have a constant body temperature like humans do. Instead, their body temperature changes as they swim through different water temperatures in various places. This means that as fish move up and down in the water, their body temperature also goes up and down.

    When fish experience these temperature changes, it can affect important things in their body like their metabolism, the balance of fluids and salts, and the way acids and bases are managed. To deal with these temperature shifts, fish have developed ways to control their body temperature. They do this through both their actions and how their bodies work.

    Fish often swim around looking for water that’s just the right temperature for them. Some fish, like tunas and certain types of sharks, have special body features that help them keep warm while swimming. They use a clever system called countercurrent heat exchange to save heat in their muscles as they swim. This helps them stay comfortable in different water temperatures.


    Crocodiles are reptiles that have cold blood and their body temperature can vary. Crocodiles prefer a body temperature of about 30-33°C, so they move between cooler and warmer places on land and in water to maintain it. They usually position their bodies to face the sun for warmth, but they turn their small heads away from the sun as their bodies warm up to avoid getting too hot. Additionally, they open their mouths to cool down their brains through evaporation. This way, crocodiles use their surroundings to regulate their body temperature. Most reptiles have special nerve endings in their skin that can sense different things

    Warm Blooded Animals

    Animals that can control and maintain a steady internal body temperature are called warm-blooded animals. These creatures can survive in different temperatures and adapt to tough environments. They remain active year-round, but they require enough food to stay warm. When winter comes and it gets colder, birds, for example, struggle to find sufficient food due to their high body temperature. As a result, many of them migrate to warmer places where they don’t need to work as hard to stay warm. Examples of warm-blooded animals include birds and mammals, like humans.

    Skin allows the body to release heat, and in cold weather, humans use layers of clothing to stay warm. Other mammals rely on fat layers or fur to keep warm and protect themselves from the cold. Mammals with big ears and long tails aren’t typically found in very cold areas because they would need a lot of extra food to replace the heat lost through these large surfaces, and finding that much food would be extremely challenging.

    Also Check: Major Difference Between Cold-Blooded & Warm-Blooded Animals

    Warm Blooded Animals Examples


    Birds are warm-blooded animals that maintain a stable body temperature, which doesn’t change with the weather outside. They use different processes in their bodies to either create or release heat to keep this steady temperature. Feathers help birds stay warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot.

    To prevent losing heat, many birds like ducks tuck their bare body parts, like their legs, under their feathers. When it’s chilly, they speed up their body activities to warm up. Some birds may go to the water to cool down by sweating. Birds can survive in very hot or cold conditions while keeping their internal temperature constant, and this ability helps them live in various environments.


    Warm-blooded animals, like mammals, maintain a stable body temperature, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. They have furry coats that help them stay warm. Besides their fur, they have ways to control their temperature inside their bodies, both in how they act and in how their bodies work.

    Different kinds of mammals live in different places in the world because they have different ways to handle temperature. Mammals have various ways to control their temperature. Some make heat, while others keep the heat they already have. For animals, staying the right temperature helps them stay healthy and avoid getting sick.

    Difference Between Cold-blooded and Warm-blooded Animals

    Cold-Blooded Warm-Blooded
    They can maintain a constant temperature They cannot maintain a constant temperature
    They obtain energy from the surrounding environment. They obtain energy from food consumption
    Their body temperatures varies with surrounding Their body temperature lie between 35 to 40 celsius
    They changes their rate of metabolism with change in the environment Environmental change does not affect their metabolism
    They cannot withstand extreme temperatures They can maintain a constant body temperature.
    Examples – Reptiles, insects, fish, amphibians, etc Examples – Birds and mammals

    FAQs on the Difference between Cold Blooded and Warm Blooded Animals

    What are Cold Blooded Animals?

    Animals that can't produce their own body heat are called poikilotherms, or cold-blooded animals. This category includes insects, worms, fish, amphibians, and reptiles—basically, all animals except mammals and birds.

    What are Warm Blooded Animals?

    Warm-blooded creatures are animals that can control and keep their body temperature stable. They can live comfortably in various temperatures because they can adjust to them easily. Mammals are excellent examples of warm-blooded animals.

    What is the main difference between warm and cold-blooded animals?

    Warm-blooded animals keep their body temperature steady no matter how hot or cold it is outside. They do this by using their muscles and the energy from the food they eat to generate heat. In contrast, cold-blooded animals depend on the temperature of their surroundings to control their body temperature.

    What makes an animal cold-blooded?

    Cold-blooded means that an animal's body temperature is similar to the temperature around it. For example, if a fish is in water that is 40°F, its body temperature will be close to 40°F. If the same fish is in water that is 60°F, its body temperature will be close to 60°F

    How do cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals adapt to their environment?

    They can produce warmth within their bodies, while cold-blooded creatures struggle to endure extreme weather and situations. Warm-blooded animals readily adjust to various surroundings and temperatures, relying primarily on sunlight and the warmth of their surroundings.

    What is another name for a warm-blooded animal?

    Endothermic creatures are often referred to as warm-blooded animals. This means they can keep their body temperature steady, no matter where they are. Birds and mammals are the main types of endothermic animals, but there are a few fish that are also warm-blooded.

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