An Alternative Guide To Keeping Cool From The Animal Kingdom

Happy pig in mud

Credit: Image by Daniel Kirsch from Pixabay

As the most helpful and altruistic writer on the Euro Weekly News I felt it incumbent upon me to share the expert advice on keeping cool that I’ve gained from many years of harbouring an unhealthy interest in David Attenborough. Spoiler Alert; It doesn’t involve fans, air-con or ice.

Kangaroo You

Close up of a Kangaroo looking at camera
Kangaroo. Credit: Image by wirestock on Freepik

As we all know, these marsupials live in regions that are hotter than a hen party’s decolletage at a Chippendales show. Yet they have managed to adopt an easy and convenient way to keep cool that anyone can do; they spit on their forearms. Naturally you’ll need to stay well hydrated for this one but, always supposing you are, then simply hawking up on your wrists should lower the temperature of your blood as it passes through veins close to the skin’s surface.

You’ve Got To Be Echidna-ing Me

An Echidna walking
Echidna. Credit: Image by wirestock on Freepik

This one comes from the sort of bizarre critter that only Australia could produce; the Echidna. It’s basically a hedgehog that lays eggs. Yup, eggs. The Echidna has a great way to stave off the heat, it blows snot bubbles that burst on its face and keep it cool whilst the snot evaporates. You may need to borrow an 18-month old child to mentor you if you want to master this cooling technique.

Pelicans Can

Pelicans flapping
Pelican. Credit: Image by byrdyak on Freepik

The Pelican has a really big mouth; sort of like Nadine Dorries. This bird keeps cool by opening its mouth really wide and rapidly vibrating its throat membranes in a technique called ‘gular fluttering’; also like Nadine Dorries. This one takes some practice but essentially what you need to do is sit with your mouth gaping open and make a sound as though you’re gargling mouthwash.

Kool As A Koala

Koala asleep up a tree
Koala. Credit: Image by wirestock on Freepik

Aren’t they cute? They’re so cute. Koalas have to contend with extreme temperatures and cope  by doing something called ‘heat dumping’. Don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds, it simply means that they splat out on a branch with all four legs at full stretch to maximise their surface area against the cool tree bark. You’ve probably seen your dog do it on a tile floor. The only advisory I would give is not to do it in public; at best that can prompt a few questions and, at worst, swift ejection from whatever restaurant or bar you’re in at the time.

Surprising Storks

Stork. Credit: Image by DejaVu Designs on Freepik

I’m not going to lie; if you have any interest whatsoever in maintaining a social circle or good family relationships, you probably want to put this cooling technique at the back of the deck. Yes, these majestic looking birds have a rather unsavoury cooling trick up their sleeves. They poo down their own legs so that their body temperature lowers as the poo dries. If you absolutely have to try this, at least save it until you have a plausible excuse such as a vindaloo eating contest.

It’s Not Pants To Be Ants

Macro close-up of an ant head
Ant. Credit: Image by Virvoreanu Laurentiu from Pixabay

The Saharan Ant knows a thing or two about keeping cool in the desert sun where it can literally be fried to death in ten minutes. It’s developed a pelt of silver hairs all over its body that radiate away the heat. If you’re follicly challenged in the body hair department you may think this solution isn’t for you, but wait! All you need is one of those weird space blankets that marathon runners sport once they’ve crossed the line to do the reflecting for you. If you can’t find one of those in your local China Bazaar then enlist the help of a friend to wrap you up in kitchen foil. Job done.

So there you have it! A super-useful, practical guide to keeping cool from our friends in the animal kingdom. You’re welcome.

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Written by

Emma Mitchell

Emma landed in journalism after nearly 30 years as an executive in the Internet industry. She lives in Bédar and her interests include raising one eyebrow, reckless thinking and talking to people randomly. If you have a great human interest story you can contact her on