Elephant heat map
Updated: Dec 17, 2021
To maintain a stable core body temperature, mammals need to regulate heat stress effectively. This is essential as many body functions are controlled by heat-sensitive enzymes. For elephants, the specially large ears act as a cooling mechanism, but rarely has such thermo-regulation been so apparent as in this heat-radiation image recently recorded at Ongava’s Anderssons waterhole by our colleague Jörg Melzheimer of the Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research. The cooler ears are visibly darker than the rest of the elephants' skin surfaces as a result of the heat that has been lost through the ears.