What Is The Difference Between An Animal That Is A Regulator And One That Is A Conformer?

Homeostasis is a process wherein animals are able to regulate their internal temperature to maintain a constant, stable condition. There are two ways in which living entities can achieve this stability in their internal environment, i.e., either by conforming their internal temperature to the external temperature or by regulating their internal temperature. Hence entities can be classified into two classes based on how they behave to the changes in their surroundings; they are:

  • Conformer – They depend upon the changes in their external environment

  • Regulator – They can control their internal environment irrespective of their external surroundings to an extent.


These animals are also known as ectotherms, as they cannot regulate their own internal temperature. It adapts its behaviour to the surroundings or migrates to environments with optimal temperatures. Conformers are referred to as cold-blooded animals. Examples of this class are amphibians, reptiles, insects etc.


These animals are also referred to as endotherms and are able to regulate their internal environment through control mechanisms to maintain a suitable internal temperature crucial in carrying out body functionalities. Regulators are often referred to as warm-blooded animals. Examples of this class are Mammals and birds. They maintain constant body temperature by working on temperatures through heat production and metabolic processes.

Partial Regulators

Partial regulators are capable of regulating their body temperature to a great level, however, only over a restricted range of environmental conditions, as beyond this range they simply conform. If the temperature keeps increasing, it is capable of maintaining a steady temperature. As a result of their resilience, these regulators occupy a greater diversity of ecological niches compared to conformers.

Differences Between Regulators And Conformers

Following are the differences between animals who are conformers or regulators.

Regulators Conformers
Have homeostasis Comparatively lesser homeostasis.
Generate internal heat to regulate internal body temperature – Endotherms Their body temperature changes according to their surroundings – Ectotherms
Distribution is wide Distribution is narrow
Creatures are active Less active creatures
Body fluids have a fixed osmotic concentration The osmotic concentration of body fluids fluctuates depending on the external medium.
A lot of energy is expended to maintain constancy Little energy is expended in order to maintain constancy

Explore BYJU’S to know more about regulators, conformers or other related topics.

Further Reading:

Difference Between Cold Blooded And Warm-Blooded Animals
Mammalia – Diversity in Living Organisms
What Is An Endothermic Animal?


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  1. Is the internal temperature of conformer is directly proportional to external temperature

    • The body temperature of conformers changes with the ambient temperature, they cannot maintain a constant internal temperature. Heat exchange (loss or gain) with the environment is proportional to
      body surface area of the organism.