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Body heat



Every so often I take some time to peruse the literature on some dino-related
field or other, and I've tried to find something somewhere that will tell me
just how it is that endothermic body heat is generated (as well as how it
might be kept uniform and high once generated). The answer seems to be
biochemical, but the exact energy-releasing, body-heat-generating metabolic
pathways remain frustratingly unknown. Is there any deep literature on this
subject, or is it all still just hand-waving?

A related question concerns heat generated by friction. The passage of blood,
which at last look was _not_ a superfluid, through the capillaries generates
heat simply by virtue of its viscosity. Where does this waste heat go? How
does it get dumped from the body, if that is indeed its fate? It seems to me
that the stronger the left ventricle and the higher the somatic blood
pressure, the more frictional heat is generated via the simple mechanism of
friction against capillary walls. Has anyone ever measured the amount of
frictional heat that blood flowing through body tissue generates? Are there
physiological mechanisms that might make use of this "excess" energy? Are
there specialized capillary walls in certain kinds of tissue that would
increase the friction of blood passing through them in order to increase the
amount of heat generated?

Just some thoughts and questions at 2AM.

G.O.