Koala shows it's cool to be a tree hugger
Published on Jun 4, 2014 7:25 AM
PARIS (AFP) - Australia's cuddly koala rarely drinks water and doesn't have any sweat glands, long leaving scientists to wonder how it cools off in a heatwave.
On Wednesday, zoologists announced they had uncovered the iconic mammal's secret - hugging trees, whose trunks can be several degrees cooler than the surroundings.
Koalas have high mortality rates in heatwaves. Unable to sweat, they use panting as a way of evaporative cooling, but in the wild, they rarely drink and when they need to, water is often scarce.
As tree-dwellers, koalas don't generally seek out cool, shadowy ground surfaces like many other animals.
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