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Sci & Tech

Lemurs hug tree trunks to chill down when temperatures prime 30°C

A sort of lemur known as a white sifaka embraces the bottom of some timber to launch warmth, with the underside of the trunk being as much as 5°C cooler than the encircling air


22 September 2022

Lemurs hugging timber on the Bezà Mahafaly Particular Reserve in south-west Madagascar

Chloe Chen-Kraus

Lemurs appear to hug timber to maintain cool on sweltering days.

Chloe Chen‑Kraus, affiliated with Yale College, and her colleagues seen that within the Bezà Mahafaly Particular Reserve in south-west Madagascar, a kind of lemur known as the white sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) hugs the bottom of tree trunks on notably sizzling days.

“Once we first noticed it, it was simply so uncommon as a result of these are extremely arboreal [tree-dwelling] primates,” she says.

With sifakas having fewer sweat glands than most …

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