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How does heat capacity affect living organisms?
It limits the temperatures the cells have to maintain in order to be alive.
The heat capacity of any living organism is important to it, because it can affect the very fact of life of it.
There are to types of animals, when we talk about heat capacity: poikilotherms and homeotherm. Poikilotherms can change their body temperature according to the temperature outside. Homeotherms don't and can't change do this.
Water, which is a main component in animals is highly responsible to the heat capacity of animals because water resists to change its temperature when a considerable amount of heat is absorbed or lost.
Living organisms do change their body temperature for metabolism. They, by using this fact of heat capacity take many advantages:
- Fever- We get fever when there are bacterial or virus cells in our blood. By heating up our body, we destroy the bacterial and virus cells. (if so, why should we try to get rid of fever? it's because if the temperature gets too much, even our body cells can get destroyed)
- Warm up- Before a player do his sport, he warms up. What he really does is making his body temperature high. Heat capacity is crucial in this because, if its not that high, the player can't get that much of energy(temperature)
p.s. Just got remembered: What happened in India and Pakistan recently is a good example of this. The human body's heat capacity was not enough to bare the high temperature that suddenly came.