From Panting to Pooping, 8 Weird Ways Animals Keep Cool

While you (and horses) are busy sweating buckets, some animals have evolved bizarre ways to keep cool

A pig appears to enjoy a refreshing bath. (© KOEN VAN WEEL/epa/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

Panting

Breath is hot, so when animals want to cool down, it's no surprise that they try to get their hot breath away from them as quickly as possible. Rapidly expelling hot air and drawing in cooler air is known as panting. When the cool air comes in contact with the moist lining of the lungs and throat, it helps the animal reduce its body temperature. You've definitely seen dogs do it—canines sweat through their paws but also pant to cool off more efficiently. But you might be surprised to know that pet pooches aren't the only ones taking advantage of panting's cooling properties: birds have been known to pant, as well.

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