Koalas Beat the Heat by Hugging Trees
Tree hugging make you cooler and don’t you dare argue with it. It’s coming from an expert on the subject and just about the coolest animal out there: a koala.
A new study published on Tuesday by American and Australian scientists at the University of Melborne, Australia, shows that the iconic animal beats the heat by hugging trees.
The team got to the conclusion after fitting a number of koalas with radio collars and tracking them through winter and summer months. They observed that on hotter days, the cuddly critters went for acacia trees, which they stayed away from on colder days. They also noticed the koalas tended to move towards the lower end of the tree trunks, where they stayed hugging it.
“It was only when we measured tree surface temperatures and obtained thermal images that the behavior of the koalas made perfect sense,” said Natalie Briscoe, a research fellow with the University who led the study.
Using thermal imaging, Briscoe and her team found the tree trunks were seven to nine degrees Celcius cooler than the atmosphere, allowing the koalas to relieve some of their body heat through conduction. That cut the amount of panting they had to do by half, which allowed them to keep hydrated through the dog days of summer.
We don’t know about you, but we’re not surprised. At Ecorazzi we’ve been saying tree huggers are cooler for a long time.
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