When the temperatures start to drop we tend to reach for our warmest coat – but what if we could get away with tricking our body that its not feeling cold?
Thats exactly what pandas do – by rolling in horse manure when the temperatures begin drop. You know how minty things or aloe vera makes us feel cooler or refreshed? Well, the horse manure does something similar but in the opposite direction – it stops the pandas from ‘feeling’ the cold. Researchers found that the horse manure contains compounds that suppress the nerves that tell your body that its feeling cold. By rolling in the manure the pandas expose themselves to these compounds and makes those cold winter nights just a little bit more bearable.
Although I do wonder how the others feel about the associated smell…
Tanya Strydom is a PhD student at the Université de Montréal, mostly focusing on how we can use machine learning and artificial intelligence in ecology. Current research interests include (but are not limited to) predicting ecological networks, the role species traits and scale in ecological networks, general computer (and maths) geekiness, and a (seemingly) ever growing list of side projects. Tweets (sometimes related to actual science) can be found @TanyaS_08.