Friday, January 4, 2013

Wake Up Sleepy Heads! It is time to go back to school

I hope you have had a happy and restful winter break. We had the pleasure of experiencing climatological records last December. If you thought it was a bit dark, you were right. Seattle had 27 days of measurable precipitation last month, an ALL TIME RECORD for December.  The old record was 26 days. Also, December 2012 is tied for darkest December with December 2007. So December 2012 was as bad as we have seen during this century! Now for the good news. January 3, is climatologically the COLDEST DAY OF THE YEAR in Seattle.  Here is the proof, based on the period 1948-2012.  The average maximum temperature drops to 43F and the minimum temperature to 33.  Then then warming begins! This information was taken from the Cliff Mass Weather Blog. Click on the link to Cliff's blog to read the details. You will find the link on the left margin of this page.

As you recall, a written exam awaits you when you return. You will be asked to write about how mammals maintain one aspect of their homeostasis. The following is a list of topics I will accept:
  • Temperature regulation - hormonal: I am looking for you to describe how the endocrine system controls metabolism and therefore heat production and body temperature.
  • Maintenance of life during hibernation: see the chapter 29 Q and QA plus other bits through the chapter. A good paper will describe how a ground squirrel can survive the winter despite not having sufficient food or fat reserves. 
  • Temperature regulation - inputs and outputs: in total, animals regulate their body temperature by controlling the variables in the heat budget equation. For this question, write about examples of how various animals control all the components of the heat budget equation.
  • Blood oxygen/carbon dioxide balance: describe how the these are detected and how heart and respiration rates are controlled.
  • Blood glucose balance: this is not a topic we covered. But if you read section 39.4 I am confident that you will understand how it works and will be able to write a good paper.
  • Blood pressure regulation: see section 38.6 to refresh your mind. A discussion of nervous and hormonal regulation should be included.
A strong answer will describe the system in balance, out of balance, feedback mechanisms, and how the system gets back into homeostasis.

If you have a question about this post leave a comment. I will monitor the blog form time to time.

Be sure to tell the others about this post so they are ready.

See you Monday.

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