Definition of ectotherm in English:



  • An animal that is dependent on external sources of body heat.

    Compare with poikilotherm
    Often contrasted with endotherm
    • ‘The papers cover a substantial range of physiological systems and numerous types of organisms, including ectotherms and endotherms, vertebrates, insects, plants, and bacteria.’
    • ‘It is conceivable, therefore, that during the evolution of endothermy there existed a continuum of physiological constitutions that were intermediate to those known from typical ectotherms and endotherms today.’
    • ‘Ecological studies suggest that today's endotherms (mammals and birds) generally outcompete ectotherms in their area.’
    • ‘With regard to the distance traveled before exhaustion, intermittent locomotion can have greater consequences for ectotherms than endotherms.’
    • ‘Thus, perhaps the commonly asked question whether dinosaurs were ectotherms or endotherms is inappropriate, and it is more constructive to ask which dinosaurs were likely to have been endothermic and which ones ectothermic.’