hummingbird moth
like its endothermic namesake

in adroit hover—

but with moth silence


I just discovered that the term “warm-blooded,” which I used in an earlier version of this poem, is no longer one that biologists use. It is too limiting in its description of how various animals interact with the ambient temperature surrounding them. For example, the so called warm-blooded animals maintain blood and body temperature within a narrow range, and have many mechanisms in place for cooling the body and blood when ambient temperatures get too high. “Endothermic” is the term now used to describe what were formerly called “warm-blooded” mammals and birds. “Ectothermic” reptiles, insects, and amphibians can tolerate a wider range of body and blood temperatures. Depending on the species and/or the season, they may go underground, interact with the sun, shiver, or produce special biochemicals to maintain their temperature within the needed range.


Photo: Some rights reserved by Larry1732
See photo at Flickr here.


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