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Large ears aid cooling: elephant

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Infrared image of an elephant / Coen Boonen .. / LicenseCopyright - All Rights Reserved

The large ears of elephants aid cooling by radiating heat from blood vessels, and flapping to generate cooling air currents.

FUNCTION
Summary
"Elephants, too, have huge ears relative to body size, and they are also used for temperature regulation. It has been shown that blood passing through the ears of an African elephant may lose as much as 9˚C of heat, a valuable cooling device in the hot African summer. To increase the effect, elephants spray their ears with water, and flap them to create cooling air currents." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:170)
About the inspiring organism
Elephantidae
Elephantidae

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Combination cooling devices that play with structure, water, and fans.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Electronics, buildings

References
Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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