02 Oct '11, 4pm

Elephants can take the heat: New research shows how elephants have adapted to extreme heat in a manner similar t...

Elephants can take the heat: New research shows how elephants have adapted to extreme heat in a manner similar t...

Elephants have evolved a novel strategy for regulating body temperature, which allows them to endure soaring temperatures during the day without succumbing to heat stress. Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna's Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology studied Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to determine the mechanism the mighty mammals use to withstand high daytime temperatures, which may reach 30-35 degrees Celsius (90-95 degrees Fahrenheit) in their native habitats. The scientists fed small thermal telemetry devices to Asian elephants living in captivity in Thailand, and in a German zoo, and monitored the animals' internal temperatures for changes throughout the day and night. Elephants don't sweat like humans, or pant like dogs to eliminate excess heat, so scientists suspected they might employ a third cooling mechanism, used by desert mammals suc...

Full article: http://www.earthtimes.org/nature/elephants-heat/1445/

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