Elephants have the highest volume of daily water loss ever recorded in a land animal

A team of researchers from Duke University, the University of the Witwatersrand and Hunter College has found that elephants have the highest volume of daily water loss ever recorded in a land animal. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes experiments they conducted with captive elephants to measure how much water they lose.

 

Many animals, such as humans, keep cool in hot weather by perspiring—as sweat evaporates, the skin is cooled down. Other animals, such as dogs, keep cool by panting—and still others, such as elephants, have large organs that work as a cooling system—their ears keep them cool when it is hot. Elephants have sweat glands, as well, but they are small and located in their feet, near their cuticles. Elephants are also known to drink an enormous amount of water—hundreds of liters every day. Such huge amounts of water help to keep elephants cool by its presence in the body, but it is also needed to break down the huge amounts of food that elephants eat—and because their digestion process is so inefficient, they defecate from 12 to 15 times a day. Elephants also lose a lot of water through urinating, as well.

 

Read the full article at: phys.org