How animals detect and react to high temperatures

How animals detect and react to high temperatures

To understand behavioral responses of animals to fast and slow rise in temperature, researchers at the University of California - Santa Barbara conducted a study on fruit fly larvae. They found that a quick rise in temperature to 25 degrees stimulated a writhing response in the larvae. On the contrary, upon a gradual increase to the same temperature fewer larvae exhibited responses and the average threshold for bearing higher temperature was high. It was found that when the temperature rose very quickly, thermosensory neurons in the brain sense the change and stimulate the writhing response. Moreover, they observed that the temperature change activates a protein called TRPA1, which is the cellular temperature sensor. However, when the temperature rose gradually, TRPA1 was less active. The researchers conjecture that these mechanisms are critical for an animal’s survival and a study of such changes in different animals can help understand how different species respond to the temperature changes.     

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