How Koalas Keep Cool

I just got back from a week in sunny Southern California (although it did rain for a day).  I was catching up reading my National Geographic magazines (they’re a good size for airplane trips) and I ran across this in the July 2015 issue —

A 2014 study led by University of Melbourne ecologists showed that when summer temperatures go up, koalas keep cool by climbing down their trees and pressing their bodies close to the trunks.  Each tree has its own microclimate, which can be more than 12 degrees F cooler than the air.  Since a koala’s belly fur is relatively thin, tree hugging is like standing in front of an open refrigerator.  It’s actually more efficient than panting or fur-licking.  And a separate study found that shelter trees like casuarina (as opposed to food trees like eucalyptus) work best.

Whatever works, I guess.

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