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Short-beaked echidnas

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 Context: Short-beaked echidnas in Western Australia beat the heat by blowing mucus bubbles, according to researchers from Curtin University.


About the short-beaked echidna

It is one of four living species of echidna. It is covered in fur and spines and has a distinctive snout and a specialized tongue, which it uses to catch its insect prey (ant and termite) at a great speed.


Other mechanisms used by animals to stay cool: Dog pant to cool off; Kangaroos lick their arms so that the evaporating saliva cools the underlying blood vessels; Vultures squirt watery poop on their naked legs; Birds and mammals fluff their feathers (to increase the air trapped near their skin which acts as an insulator to regulate body temperature); Jackrabbits, increase blood flow to their ears which dissipates heat more quickly.