This Fish Leaps Onto Dry Land to Cool Down

posted: 10/23/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
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While we humans take a dip in the water for a break from sweltering summer heat, the mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus) does the exact opposite: the small creature actually leaps out of the water, temporarily resting on dry land to cool down.

"The water evaporates off the fish and they cool down their body temperatures slightly. It only takes about a couple seconds for the fish to start to cool down," explains Pat Wright, a University of Guelph professor and senior author of a new study about the mangrove rivulus.

mangrove rivulus on land
Courtesy University of Guelph

Using thermal cameras, Wright and her colleagues filmed the fish leaping, noting that creature's body temperature dropped almost immediately after it left the water.

"Based on physics, we would expect evaporative cooling to happen, but this is the first time it was directly measured," she adds.

Wright posits that the mangrove rivulus could be forced to make more frequent extra-aquatic leaps as climate change drives up water temperature.


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