How animals keep cool in the heat
Not just cool cats – so many more animals beat the heat in surprising ways!
On hot days, it’s nice to cool down with a cold drink in the shade. Animals also use similar tactics, spending time by the water and away from the scorching sunshine. But mother nature also equipped them with some really interesting ways to stay comfortable in a heatwave...
When it gets hot, we humans bring our body temperature down by sweating – but it’s not the same for our canine friends. Although they sweat through their paw pads, that’s often not enough to keep cool. Instead, dogs pant to circulate fresh air through their body.
In summer, bears shed their thick winter coat for lighter and longer hair, which shields their skin from the sun. The rescued bears at our partner sanctuary in Romania love to spend the summer by the pond, and you can watch them splash around on our live webcam feed.
Snakes, being reptiles, are cold-blooded and can’t regulate their body temperature like us humans do. The best way for them to beat the heat is to stay away from the sunshine, so they find shade under rocks or luscious forest canopy.
Sweating like a pig
Pigs need to bathe to stay cool, since they actually have very few sweat glands! Plus, the mud acts as a sunscreen and protects their skin. Clever, aren’t they?
Have you heard?
Elephants use their large ears as a surface to release heat from their bodies. In hot weather, they flap them around to increase the blood supply and bring their body temperature down.
It’s roosting out there!
Chickens are another animal that can’t sweat. Similar to how elephants use their ears to keep cool, their comb (their little red crest and flesh around their beak) acts as a heat radiator, bringing blood up to the surface so it can cool down.