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Source: The post is based on the article “How short-beaked echidnas beat the heat” published in The Hindu on 11th April 2023
What is the News?
Short-beaked echidnas living in the Dryandra Woodland in Western Australia use a unique method to beat the searing heat during the summer.
What are Short-beaked echidnas?
Short-beaked echidna is one of four living species of echidna. It is covered in fur and spines and has a distinctive snout and a specialized tongue, which it uses to catch its insect prey (ant and termite) at a great speed.
It has extremely strong front limbs and claws, which allow it to burrow quickly with great power. As it needs to be able to survive underground, it has a significant tolerance to high levels of carbon dioxide and low levels of oxygen.
What is the unique method used by Short-beaked echidnas to bear the soaring heat?
Researchers found that blowing snot bubbles can help the Short-beaked echidnas cool down.
Their nose has about 100 mucous-secreting glands. When an animal blows mucus balloons that burst over its nose, evaporation cools the blood vessels inside the snout. Circulating this blood through the body brings down the body temperature.
What are the mechanisms used by other animals to stay cool?
1) Dog pants(breathe quickly) to cool off, 2) Kangaroos lick their arms so that the evaporating saliva cools the underlying blood vessels and 3) Vultures squirt watery poop on their naked legs.