Infrared images of ostrich necks show that they help the birds keep their heads cool in warm temperatures, lowering their heat stress and helping them reproduce more successfully
25 March 2022
The ostrich’s long, flexible neck is an important means of staying cool in the heat and keeping warm in cooler weather, and it may have evolved partially as an adaptation to wildly variable climatic conditions.
Large animals are vulnerable to rapid temperature changes because their big bodies tend to hold on to heat. To investigate how they evolve thermal tolerance, Erik Svensson at Lund University, Sweden, and his colleagues looked to the world’s largest bird: the common ostrich (Struthio camelus …