31 Jul '17, 6pm

Birds don't sweat but they have a variety of other ways to keep cool on hot summer days.

Birds don't sweat but they have a variety of other ways to keep cool on hot summer days.

On a hot summer’s day, you can watch a bird like a crow very, very carefully. And you’ll never see it sweat. Because birds don’t have sweat glands. Instead, they’ve evolved a variety of other ways to keep cool. One of them is panting. As the bird breathes rapidly, its throat quivering, heat’s carried out of its body via the lungs and air sacs. The lungs are a one-way system, so cool air coming in doesn’t get mixed up with warm air coming out. Holding its bill open, the bird also oscillates a tiny bone in a part of its throat where there are a lot of blood vessels. The oscillations bring more blood to the area, allowing heat from the blood to dissipate. Bare skin on the legs, face, and beak also help the cooling. So do puffing out feathers, fluttering wings, or splashing in a puddle or birdbath. And soaring birds like hawks can simply ride the updrafts far above ground, to ...

Full article: http://www.audubon.org/news/the-many-ways-birds-beat-heat

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