As the year winds into the summer and the months feel hotter than ever, many people may begin to wonder how the animals of the world manage to stay cool. As humans, we are able to rely on our many sweat glands to produce sweat. When the sweat evaporates, it carries away the heat on our bodies and leaves us feeling cooler. Though we are far from the only species that sweat, most animals are not lucky enough to have such an efficient cooling method. However, there are many animals that have their own ways of achieving a similar effect.
Some animals that don’t sweat have to use their environment to regulate their temperature. Pigs, boars, buffalo, and hippos often roll in mud and coat their bodies with it. This action is wallowing, and, like sweating, it helps cool the animals through evaporation. In terms of why these animals prefer mud, it actually evaporates much more slowly than clear water. This allows the animals to feel cooler for a longer period of time. Interestingly, a 2011 study suggests that pigs’ ancient ancestors had sweat glands and merely had a tendency to wallow. The study claims that modern pigs lack sweat glands because their ancestors would wallow, rather than wallowing because they lack sweat glands.
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