Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How Do Elephants Cool Down?



Everyone knows an elephant loves to bathe. On those really hot days under the African sun, they begin their ritual standing at the edge of a pool; gorging themselves by slurping up and then squirting water into their mouths. They make their way further into the pool and start to shower water over their backs and heads, looking free and uninhibited.



They splash and dive, sometimes submerging completely, poking their trunk above the surface like a snorkel. The little ones climb on each other's backs and squeal with delight -- sometimes receiving a scolding in the form of a trunk-smack from an annoyed, older member of the herd.


A sleepy elephant naps in the noon sun, staying cool by casually flapping it's massive ears to fan away the heat. Their ears can be as big as over five feet long and almost 4 feet wide, acting as a 'gigantic cooling organ'. Another curious cooling method was considered impossible until it became readily observed by scholarly observers.

Elephants have even been known, under dire circumstance, like fleeing or in times of insufficient water source, to cool themselves by reaching their trunks into the their bellies to extract water from a reservoir in their gut, then showering it upon their head.

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