Key Difference – Osmoregulation vs Thermoregulation
Homeostasis is a vital process in an organisms’ body. It refers to the process that maintains a stable and relatively a constant internal environment within the body. In other words, homeostasis is the ability of our body to detect and oppose the changes that push away from the balance points. The body should maintain the homeostasis throughout the lifetime in order to be healthy and happy. Cells, organs, tissues, body fluids and all the other body parts maintain their own optimum levels and it is the key to maintain overall body homeostasis. Homeostasis is maintained through negative feedback loops. As an example, if your body temperature increases to a higher level, a negative feedback loop operates and brings your body temperature back to the setpoint or the normal point. Temperature and water balance are the key things that are very important with respect to homeostasis. Osmoregulation is the maintenance of the water balance. Organisms regulate the osmotic pressure of their body fluids to maintain the water balance in order to prevent body fluids becoming too diluted or too concentrated. Thermoregulation is the maintenance of the body temperature. Organisms are able to keep their body temperature within a certain range even though the surrounding temperature is very different from the internal environment. This is the key difference between osmoregulation and thermoregulation.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Osmoregulation
3. What is Thermoregulation
4. Similarities Between Osmoregulation and Thermoregulation
5. Side by Side Comparison – Osmoregulation vs Thermoregulation in Tabular Form
What is Osmoregulation?
Osmoregulation is the maintaining of the water balance of the body fluids. In other words, osmoregulation is the active regulation of the osmotic pressure of organisms’ fluids. All organisms have mechanisms to regulate water balance in their bodies. When the water uptake and water loss within the cells, tissues and body fluids are regulated, solute potentials regulate at proper levels. Variety of solutes is dissolved in fluids of cells, tissues and other body fluids. Because fluids are served as the medium for all biochemical reactions occurring in the body. However, when the water balance is achieved, these fluids will not become too diluted or too concentrated.
Water loses from the body continuously in the form of sweat, tears, urine, feces, etc. Osmoreceptors in the hypothalamus detect the changes in the water balance or the concentration changes of the blood and body fluids. Once they detect, using different mechanisms, water balance is restored.
Organisms show different structural and behavioral adaptations to minimize water loss from their bodies. In plants, stomata play an important role in maintaining water balance within the plant. In humans, kidney plays a big role in regulating the osmotic pressure of the fluids.
What is Thermoregulation?
Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature at constant or within a certain range even though the external temperature varies very high or very low than the body temperature. Many organisms show different behavioral patterns to regulate their body temperatures. And also they control body temperature by exchanging heat with the environment. Some organisms increase metabolic heat generation.
Based on the mechanism of thermoregulation, organisms are grouped into two categories namely ectotherms and endotherms. Endotherms use metabolic heat to regulate the temperature of the internal body environment while ectotherms do not use metabolic heat to regulate the temperature of the body. Both endotherms and ectotherms show different behavioral, anatomical, or physiological adaptations to maintain healthy body temperature levels.
What are the Similarities Between Osmoregulation and Thermoregulation?
- Both osmoregulation and thermoregulation processes are important in overall homeostasis of the body.
- Both osmoregulation and thermoregulation processes are done through negative feedback loops.
- Both osmoregulation and thermoregulation processes maintain optimum levels.
What is the Difference Between Osmoregulation and Thermoregulation?
Osmoregulation vs Thermoregulation
|Osmoregulation is the maintenance of constant osmotic pressure in the fluids of an organism by the control of water and salt concentrations.||Thermoregulation is the maintenance of the body temperature in a certain range even though the outside temperature varies a lot than the inside.|
|Osmotic pressure or the water potential is the main factor that is concerned during osmoregulation.||Temperature is the factor that is concerned during the thermoregulation.|
Summary – Osmoregulation vs Thermoregulation
Osmoregulation and thermoregulation are two factors of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the maintenance of relatively stable internal environment even though different factors are varied outside the body. Osmoregulation refers to the process of maintaining constant osmotic pressure within the body fluids by keeping the water balance. Thermoregulation refers to the process of keeping internal body temperature at a constant value even though the temperature of the external environment is too high or too low. This is the difference between osmoregulation and thermoregulation.
1.“Homeostasis.” Khan Academy. Available here
2.“Osmoregulation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Feb. 2018. Available here
1.’Osmoseragulation Carangoides bartholomaei bw en’By Kare Kare modified by Biezl – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’2523 The Hypothalamus Controls Thermoregulation’By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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