The main difference between homeostasis and thermoregulation is that homeostasis refers to maintaining a steady state inside the body, whereas thermoregulation refers to maintaining the internal temperature of the body.
Living organisms have several regulatory mechanisms in their bodies to perform biological functions effectively, ensuring their survival. In fact, various physical and chemical conditions are regulated inside the living bodies at optimum levels. However, if these variables are not maintained at the relevant optimum levels, it can even result in the death of organisms.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Homeostasis
– Definition, Features, Parameters
2. What is Thermoregulation
– Definition, Features, Parameters
3. Difference Between Homeostasis and Thermoregulation
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Homeostasis
Homeostasis refers to maintaining a steady state inside the living body while adjusting to conditions that are best for survival. This is, in fact, a self-regulatory process. Moreover, the parameters that are regulated in living systems include blood pressure, blood glucose levels, acid levels, electrolyte levels, oxygen levels, protein levels, hormone levels, energy levels, temperature, etc. In fact, these parameters are constantly adjusted to respond to changes inside and outside the body. This stability occurs with the help of dynamic equilibrium.
Any system in a dynamic equilibrium state tends to reach a state of steadiness. This state is resistant to changes in forces in the outside environment. Moreover, if such a system in a steady state is disturbed by outside forces, the regulatory mechanism inside the living organisms responds in such a way that a new steady, balanced state is achieved. This is also a feedback control process. Furthermore, examples of homeostasis in living organisms include the integration and coordination of functions regulated by means of nervous and hormonal systems or by electrical circuits.
What is Thermoregulation
Thermoregulation refers to regulating the internal temperature within an optimum range. According to the methods of regulation, there are two types of animals; They are cold-blooded (poikilotherms) and warm-blooded (homeotherms). Cold-blooded animals move from one place to another and gain or lose heat from the environment. Warm-blooded animals, on the other hand, have other mechanisms that help them lose or gain heat to maintain their bodies at a constant temperature.
Thermoregulation is a homeostatic process. Though the optimum body temperature in humans is 37 degrees of Celsius, factors such as diseases, metabolic rate, hormones, and exposure to different environmental conditions lead to a change in this steady value of temperature. But the self-regulation of temperature in humans (warm-blooded animals) by different organs and mechanisms in the body can rectify this change.
Hypothalamus, a region in the brain, is the main body part in humans that deals with thermoregulation. Furthermore, the nervous system carries information regarding the body temperature to the brain as feedback to the fluctuation in the temperature by external or internal changes. This activates feedback mechanisms such as adjustments in the breathing rate, the level of blood sugar and metabolic rates, heat losses with the help of perspiration, decreased or increased circulation, reduction of activity, and insulation, helping to bring the body temperature back to normal levels.
Difference Between Homeostasis and Thermoregulation
Homeostasis refers to maintaining a steady state within the body, whereas thermoregulation refers to the homeostatic process of maintaining an internal temperature of the body.
Regulation of Parameters
Homeostasis involves the regulation of blood glucose levels, blood sugar levels, electrolytes, hormone levels, temperature, oxygen levels, etc., while thermoregulation involves the regulation of body temperature.
All living beings have many biological processes occurring within them. These biological mechanisms control and maintain many essential factors for the continuation of life. Homeostasis and thermoregulation are two processes essential for life. The main difference between homeostasis and thermoregulation is that homeostasis involves maintaining a steady state inside the body, whereas thermoregulation involves maintaining the internal temperature of the body.
1. “Homeostasis.” Britannica Encyclopedia.
1. “Homeostasis success or failure” By CNX OpenStax – (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Figure 33 03 04” By David Nascari and Alan Sved – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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