More and more, we humans are having to come up with solutions to beat the heat.
With the hottest summer in recorded history currently underway, we’ve been doing everything we can installing AC units, taking multiple cold showers a day, and even attaching fans to our cell phones and converting our refrigerators into air conditioners. Whatever it takes.
Of course, animals are dealing with the heat in their own way, and some of their solutions are pretty cool. Elephants vent heat out through their ears, hummingbirds go swimming, and snails just straight-up sleep through it.
As Jeff Goldblum once said…
Perhaps the most incredible example of nature dealing with rising temperatures is the zebra finch.
The zebra finch is an Australian bird and the best singer to come from that country since Natalie Imbruglia. (Who is timeless, I don’t care what you say.)
There’s a wide variety of finch songs and calls, and they’re all unique and beautiful. Zebra finches also sing to their eggs, and one study has observed something pretty amazing about this behavior.
Zebra finches may be giving their eggs a warning about the temperature before they hatch.
That’s right. Finches might actually be singing a cautionary tune to their babies about the temperature outside.
Here’s what it sounds like:
This acoustic signal is potentially being used to program the development of offspring,” says Kate Buchanan, the author of the new paper. Hearing the call affects your rate of growth relative to the temperature that you experience.”
Essentially, if a finch chick hears the heat warning in the egg, it’ll hatch a bit smaller. Smaller-bodied birds can cool down faster and sustain less damage from extreme heat. (Because science!)
This has been called a “shocking” observation and will probably lead to a lot more research.
After all, if temperatures continue to rise like they are, every animal might have to make some adjustments.
Humans who will have to make the biggest adjustments though. Sure we can keep those air conditioners humming all summer long or move permanently into the neighbor’s house with the pool, but if we don’t radically change the way we live, extreme weather and temperatures will become a lot worse and a lot more dangerous.