Hello, I’m Jessi and this is SciShow Kids. It’s kind of warm in here.
Unless you happen to be a robotic rat, you probably get hot from time to time.
Us humans and lots of other animals do, too, and different animals have different tricks
for keeping cool.
In the summer, for example, I like to play soccer. And by the end of the game, after
all that kicking and running around, my hair and my face are wet with sweat.
Sweat, my friends, is one of the best things your body will ever do!
Our skin makes sweat when we get hot, because as the sweat dries, it cools us down.
But the thing is: not all animals can sweat like we do.
Dogs, for example, can only sweat through the parts of their bodies that aren’t covered
in fur, like the pads of their paws.
So to keep cool, they lick their noses, and they pant — that’s when dogs take a lot
of short, quick breaths, with their tongues sticking out.
As the moisture on their tongues and noses dries, it cools them down — a lot like when
your sweat dries.
But you know who has an even BIGGER problem keeping cool?
Koalas live in Australia, where it can get really hot and dry, especially in the summer.
But koalas can’t sweat!
AND when it gets really hot they don’t like to lick themselves, because doing that can
use up a lot of water in their bodies.
And when you live in a hot, dry place, water can be really hard to come by.
And that’s why koalas don’t normally drink very much — instead, they usually get the
water they need from the leaves they eat.
But, if koalas can’t sweat, and they don’t like to lick themselves, or pant like a dog,
then what’s a hot koala to do?
Well, just recently, scientists have figured out how koalas keep cool.
They hug trees!
You heard me right!
For a long time, scientists have noticed that koalas spend a lot of their time with their
arms wrapped around the trunk or branch of a tree.
That might not seem so surprising, because koalas spend almost all of their time in the
But there are plenty of other animals, like some monkeys, that live in trees, too. But
they don’t feel the need to hug trees all the time.
What scientists discovered is that, even when the weather’s hot, the trees are usually
a lot cooler than the air around them.
So, by spreading as much of their bodies against the tree as possible, koalas can cool themselves
down — without losing water by licking themselves, or panting.
Clever koalas! Thanks for joining me at SciShow Kids; check back later in the week for more
videos about animals and all things science!