Definition of poikilotherm
: an organism (such as a frog) with a variable body temperature that tends to fluctuate with and is similar to or slightly higher than the temperature of its environment : a cold-blooded organism
poikilothermicplay \ˌpȯi-kə-lō-ˈthər-mik\ adjective
poikilotherm was our Word of the Day on 11/30/2006. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Poikilotherms are also called "ectotherms" or "cold-blooded animals." Such creatures are the thermoregulatory opposites of "endotherms" or "homeotherms" - better known to most of us as "warm-blooded animals" - which are able to maintain a fairly high and constant body temperature relatively independent of the temperature of the surroundings. "Stenotherms" are creatures that can survive only within a very narrow temperature range. The "-therm" in all of these terms comes from the Greek thermē, which means "heat."
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