By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Jul 16th 2019

Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals Who Like It Hot!

During summertime heat waves, humans like to stay indoors and crank up the air conditioning. Once the temperatures are more comfortable, we then retreat back outdoors and enjoy it. Some animals actually thrive in some of the hottest places on Earth! Here are a few of them: 

1. Wild Donkey

In a region of northern Ethiopia, temperatures can soar as high as 120 degrees. Their summertime average temperature is around 93 degrees! Around 400 Somali and African wild donkeys, a.k.a. dibokali (critically endangered), live in this area. These donkeys have a flexible metabolism as well as large heat-dispersing ears to help cool themselves down. They also have the ability to drink a lot of water quickly, and it helps that these animals do not need as much water as domestic livestock. 

2. Night Parrot

Found in Australia, these birds were rediscovered after they were thought to be extinct in 2013. These ground-dwelling birds actually nest in plants during the day when temperatures sore and come out late at night when temperatures cool. 

3. Rüppell's Fox

These foxes are found in Iran's Lut Desert. In 2005, NASA recorded a temperature of 159.3 degrees Fahrenheit in this region! They cope with the heat by conserving water, which they mostly get from eating prey. They tend to hunt at night to stay cool and avoid losing excess water. They also stay cool because their bodies are quite small to dissipate the heat. In addition, they have a low metabolism to save energy and more concentrated urine, which leads to less water loss.

4. Greater Bilby

Another native to Australia is the Greater Bilby, a ground-dwelling marsupial. In Queensland, temperatures can rise up to 157 degrees Fahrenheit, which NASA recorded in 2003. The marsupials beat the heat by building shelters in burrow systems. These burrows can go as deep as 7 feet and as long as 10 feet, which helps to keep them cool during very hot days. 



Donkey
African Wild Donkey Pic: Wikipedia
Fox
Rüppell's Fox Pic: Wikipedia
Bilby
Greater Bilby Pic: Wikipedia