(Newser) – Using thermal cameras, researchers in Australia uncovered the science behind a habit that seems, well, cute: Koala bears hug trees to cool themselves. It turns out that tree trunks can be up to 12 degrees cooler than the air, and with Australia's recent hot spells rising well above 100 degrees, koalas get extra huggy. Conversely, in the cold of winter, the marsupials tend to climb higher into trees, closer to the leaves they eat. The scientists came to their conclusion after using thermal cameras on a particularly hot day. “If we had thermal vision, it would have been an obvious thing,” a University of Melbourne researcher tells the BBC. “You could see the koala sitting on the coolest part of the tree trunk with its bottom wedged right into the coolest spot.” Full story.
Cindy: Now you know. You're welcome.