Scientists Reveal Which Australian Animal Blows Its Nose to Stay Chill in 'Deadly' Heat
19:02 GMT 18.01.2023 (Updated: 19:03 GMT 18.01.2023)
While echidnas apparently cannot endure temperatures higher than 35 degrees Celsius, they were found to survive when ground heat reached as high as 47 degrees Celsius.
Researchers at the Curtin University in Australia have shed light on a peculiar mechanism that one of the continent’s animal denizens, the echidna, uses to cool itself in order to endure blistering heat.
While previous research suggested that echidnas should not survive temperatures higher than 35 degrees Celsius, scientists noticed that these creatures somehow managed to maintain their body temperature below 30 degrees Celsius even when ground temperatures in that area reached as high as 47.
Scientists learned by measuring these animals’ temperatures via infrared thermography cameras that echidnas cool themselves by essentially blowing “mucus bubbles” from their noses when they get hot.
"Echidnas blow bubbles from their nose, which burst over the nose tip and wet it," Christine Cooper, ecophysiologist from the university, said as quoted by one media outlet. "As the moisture evaporates it cools their blood, meaning their nose tip works as an evaporative window."