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Science. 1979 Nov 9;206(4419):649-54.

Endothermy and activity in vertebrates.


Resting and maximal levels of oxygen consumption of endothermic vertebrates exceed those of ectotherms by an average of five- to tenfold. Endotherms have a much broader range of activity that can be sustained by this augmented aerobic metabolism. Ectotherms are more reliant upon, and limited by, anaerobic metabolism during activity. A principal factor in the evolution of endothermy was the increase in aerobic capacities to support sustained activity.

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