Scientists determine why koalas cling to tree limbs

A male koala joey rides on his mother Goonderrah's back at the Zoo in Duisburg, western Germany on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

Scientists have finally figured out why koalas hug trees when it gets hot.

A team of Australian and American researchers found that as temperatures rise, koalas tend to put more of their bodies in contact with the trees they inhabit.

The science behind this involves something called "conductive heat transfer," where the koala transfers its body heat to the tree. The tree stays cool by sucking up water from the soil.
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