Do animals sweat? Here is a poem to answer that question: NPR


Humans are sweaty beasts, but it turns out that many other animals have different ways of cooling off. Maryland Zoo staff help explain how their residents regulate their temperatures.



MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Now, a sweat story, because summer is the time of year for sweating, and NPR science reporters have launched an investigation. Rebecca Hersher has delved into how animals cope in warmer climates, and she gives her report as a series of rhymes.

REBECCA HERSHER, BYLINE: Do animals sweat? said my editor. Hmm, I said scratching my head. This is a summer question I’d love to answer about all creatures – from parrots to panthers. To interview creatures, I knew where to go – the Maryland Zoo.

(HAWK SQUAWKING SOUND EXTRACTION)

Hersher: Oh, hello.

It’s Cactus the Falcon.

Hello, are you sweating?

The answer was no on his side of the net.

His neighbor ara was friendly…

UNIDENTIFIED ARA: Hello.

HERSHER: …But I didn’t sweat either. So I had to go interview someone who really knew.

ELLEN BRONSON: I look after all the animals in our zoo.

HERSHER: Ellen Bronson’s chief veterinarian and says most beasts don’t sweat. She says research has proven…

BRONSON: Animals don’t sweat as much as humans.

HERSHER: We humans are sweaty – more than all the other monkeys. When our smooth skin becomes moist, it helps release heat. And it keeps us cool when we are in the sun. We don’t need to rest when there are things to do – like a zoo to visit.

Man, there are so many humans in here sweating.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I know.

HERSHER: It’s so hot.

But most warm-blooded beings have fur, feathers, or hair. Any moisture or sweat would be trapped underneath. So for most creatures, they can’t sweat. Instead, on a very hot day…

BRONSON: They can gasp.

HERSHER: Lots of animals pant – much more than just dogs – badgers and deer, cows, even frogs – and birds, like crows, believe it or not.

(SOUND EXTRACTION OF THE CALL OF THE CROWS)

HERSHER: Hot, hot, hot.

(SOUND EXTRACTION OF THE CALL OF THE CROWS)

HERSHER: Back outside the zoo, I walk through the heat to the lion enclosure.

RYAN HEJDUK: We make frozen treats.

HERSHER: Ryan Hejduk helps take care of cats. He says lions can pant, but it takes more than that. On a very hot day, when there is not enough shade, the lions are lucky. They receive special ice cream. Take…

HEJDUK: Leftover blood from some of their food…

HERSHER: Freeze it in a drop of blood (ph). I wouldn’t try.

(BIRD STONE SOUND EXTRACTION)

HERSHER: Then check your vanities. Sweating is part of humanity. We are the wettest creatures. Of that, be proud. And the next time you’re in a big, sweaty crowd, don’t give in to disgust, self-loathing, or frustration. Instead, just give thanks for your perspiration. Be impressed by your sweat – how it shines and oozes. Rebecca Hersher, NPR News-es (ph).

(MUSIC SOUND EXTRACTION)

Copyright © 2022 NRP. All rights reserved. Visit the Terms of Use and Permissions pages of our website at www.npr.org for more information.

NPR transcripts are created in peak time by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative recording of NPR’s programming is the audio recording.


Entertainment

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button