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Koalas Hug Trees to Stay Cool

4 years ago25 views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia have found that koalas hug trees to cool down their body temperature on particularly hot days. Using thermal cameras, the researchers observed the koalas’ behavior throughout the year.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia have found that koalas hug trees to cool down their body temperature on particularly hot days.

Using thermal cameras, the researchers observed the koalas’ behavior throughout the year.

They noticed that in the winter months, the koalas would stay higher up in the tree where there are more leaves to eat.

Results of the study show that during the summer the koalas moved down to hug the lower parts of the tree, which are also cooler in temperature, and they held their bodies closer to the trees than normal.

Michael Kearney, a zoologist from the University of Melbourne and senior author of the study is quoted as saying: “Koalas have thinner fur in their bellies, which we suspect is to aid close contact with the tree trunk.”

Kearney also says that the koalas “are aiming to cool the vital organs in their chests as well as their brains by losing heat through their chests and groin areas."

Measurements taken from the study show that on days when the outside temperature reached over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, the koalas were about 12 point 6 degrees cooler than the air when they were hugging a tree.