Thermoregulation is a mechanism by which mammals maintain body temperature with tightly controlled self-regulation independent of external temperatures. Temperature regulation is a type of homeostasis and a means of preserving a stable internal temperature in order to survive. Ectotherms are animals that depend on their external environment for body heat, while endotherms are animals that use thermoregulation to maintain a somewhat consistent internal body temperature even when their external environment changes. Humans and other mammals and birds are endotherms. Human beings have a normal core internal temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) measured most accurately via a rectal probe thermometer. This is the optimal temperature at which the human body’s systems function. Thermoregulation is crucial to human life; without thermoregulation, the human body would cease to function. Thermoregulation also plays an adaptive role in the body's response to infectious pathogens.
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