A 2014 study has found that koala bears hug trees to keep cool.
2 of 7
On hotter days, the trunks can be several degrees cooler than the ambient air temperature, and the koalas drape their whole bodies on the cooler branch.
3 of 7
Here, a male koala bear perches on a tree branch. On cooler days the marsupials don't cling so tightly to the branches.
4 of 7
Here, an image shows the temperature difference between the koala bear and the tree it is resting on.
5 of 7
A koala hugs a tree to keep cool.
6 of 7
Credit: S. Griffiths
Koalas pant in order to cool themselves, but hugging cool tree trunks means they don't have to waste precious water panting.
7 of 7
The findings could have implications for how the koala's distribution will change with climate change, the researchers said.
Science Newsletter: Subscribe
More from LiveScience
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz. To find out what her latest project is, you can follow Tia on Google+.