Warm Blooded vs Cold Blooded : Simply Explained

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warm blooded own in winter


We can usually relate warm-blooded and cold-blood as terms directly with animals. Especially when you are watching a snake program where the voiceover says “Snakes can sense the warm-blooded animals even in absence of light.” Your mind triggers a question: what does warmblood animal mean? This is a very common question and also an interesting one. So Today we will be looking at what is warm-blooded, and cold-blooded species and the difference between them i.e, warm-blooded vs cold-blooded.

Warm Blooded

Any living creature whose body temperature is not maintained and dependent on any external source outside the body is warm-blooded.

What does this mean?

Let’s try to understand this with the help of an example. We humans have a normal body temperature of approx. 36 °C which is 96 °F. Now, this temperature will not differ much even if I live in Dubai which has a temperature of 40° C or we live in Norway which has a usual temperature of -1 ° C.

It always remains the same irrespective of external conditions or unless we are not well and have a fever. We can feel the external heat and cold but it does not make any difference in our body temperature.

Examples of Warm Blooded Species

All mammals and birds which also includes humans are warm-blooded. That means their internal body temperature is regulated within the body by its metabolism. And the body temperature remains constant regardless of external temperature.

Cold Blooded

The species and creature whose body temperature is dependent and maintained by external temperature sources are called cold-blooded.

Basically, it means that their body temperature is not always the same. And keeps changing as per the external temperature. It works like this, If the outside temperature is hot, the temperature of cold-blooded animals also raises similarly if the outside temperature is cooler their body temperature also freezes. Thus we can relate to why snakes prefer to go into bushes when it is hot outside.

Examples of Cold-Blooded Species

Cold-blooded animals and species include Snakes, reptiles, frogs, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, etc. Their body temperature fluctuates with the temperature of their surroundings.

Advantage & Disadvantage of Warm and Cold Blooded

The Advantage of Warm Blooded animals is that they can be active in wide circumstances such as summer, winter, rainy, etc.

While for Cold Blooded external factors play a very important role. They can only be active if external factors allow them to be. If the external temperature is too Hot or cold they become very sluggish and can go into a state of Torpor (Torpor is similar to temporary hibernation which can last for a few hours within a day)

Warm Blooded have a higher metabolic rate than Cold Blooded which helps them to process food and digestion faster. Which allows it to convert into energy benefitting the body by providing energy quicker than cold-blooded.

The major disadvantage of being warm-blooded is that it requires certain energy to maintain a constant body temperature which means overall warm-blooded had to eat more in order to fulfil the extra energy requirement of the body compared to any cold-blooded animals. This can also lead them to be an easier target for predators as they have to spend more time outside for food.


Thus we got a basic idea about Warm Blooded and Cold Blooded animals and their advantages and disadvantages.

Fun fact – If you have a fever your temperature rises to a certain degree from the normal body temperature. But how will you identify fever in cold-blooded animals?

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