Evolution of homeothermy in mammals

Nature. 1978 Mar 23;272(5651):333-6. doi: 10.1038/272333a0.


We propose that mammalian homeothermy was was acquired in two steps. The first step enabled mammals to invade a nocturnal niche without an increase in resting metabolic rate. The second step enabled them to invade a diurnal niche and involved the acquisition of higher body temperatures and metabolic rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Body Temperature Regulation*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Homeostasis*
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Mammals / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion