Sweating is often poor at cooling, particularly on humans and animals with a lot of hair or fur because it collects on clothes and other coverings, trapping heat in while promoting the growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, sweating leaks out important electrolytes and water.
With that in mind, are there any known examples of animals that mimic an air conditioner's heat pump? In particular, consider a special channel where blood (or even better: a specialized cooling fluid) is pressurized (almost similar to inflammation) and pumped through a fin, then depressurized on the way out.
Sharkskin-inspired swimsuits received a lot of media attention during the 2008 Summer Olympics when the spotlight was shining on Michael Phelps.
Seen under an electron microscope, sharkskin is made up of countless overlapping scales called dermal denticles (or "little skin teeth"). The denticles have grooves running down their length in alignment with water flow. These grooves disrupt the formation of eddies, or turbulent swirls of slower water, making the water pass by faster. The rough shape also discourages parasitic growth such as algae and barnacles.
Scientists have been able to replicate dermal denticles in swimsuits (which are now banned in major competition) and the bottom of boats. When cargo ships can squeeze out even a single percent in efficiency, they burn less bunker oil and don't require cleaning chemicals for their hulls. Scientists are applying the technique to create surfaces in hospitals that resist bacteria growth — the bacteria can't catch hold on the rough surface.
7 Impressive Animal Defense Mechanisms
The deep-sea squid known as Octopoteuthis deletron has a startling defense mechanism: When threatened, the squid attacks its predator and then pulls away, breaking off the tip of its own arm and leaving it behind as a diversion. As the arm continues to glow and twitch, the squid makes its escape.
But this squid isn't the only creature with a bizarre tactic for keeping itself alive. Here are several other animals with impressive defense mechanisms.
1. THE LIZARD THAT SHOOTS BLOOD FROM ITS EYES
The Texas Horned Lizard is a scary-looking creature. Brown, plump and perfectly camouflaged in its native sandy environment, its first line of defense is its spiky demeanor. If the sharp spikes and horns don't ward off predators, the lizard steps it up a notch and squirts a well-aimed stream of blood out of its eyes. The stream of blood, which can go as far as 5 feet, is mixed with a foul-tasting chemical that wards off predators. But this odd weapon comes at a cost: The lizard may release one-third of its total blood supply this way, amounting to 2 percent of its body mass. Unfortunately, its population numbers are dropping thanks to a threat that won't retreat after a well-aimed squirt: habitat loss due to rapid urbanization in the Lone Star State.
2. THE HAIRY FROG THAT BREAKS ITS OWN BONESEmőke Dénes, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0
What if every time you felt threatened, your first and only method of defense was to break your own bones and use them for weapons? Meet the hairy frog, a Central African species. When breeding, the male frogs develop thin strands of skin along the sides of their bodies that resemble hair. In theory, these strands also allow the frogs to take in more oxygen while they watch over their eggs. But what's really compelling about this frog is its ability to crack its own toe bones and push them through their skin to form sharp claws, which are great for warding off would-be attackers.
While it's not completely clear what happens to the bones after the threat of attack subsides, researchers believe the bones slide back under the skin when the frog's muscles relax.
3. THE NEWT THAT TURNS ITS RIBS INTO SPIKESDavid Perez, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0
The hairy frog isn't the only amphibian that uses its bones for weapons. When attacked, the Spanish ribbed newt shifts its ribs forward at an angle and pushes them through its stretched skin. The resulting effect is a row of spikes on either side of its body. Like the hairy frog, the newt has to force the bones through its skin every time it is attacked, but the mechanism seems to cause little or no harm to the creature. Maybe one day it'll get its own robot protector: A team of researchers at the the Swiss university EPFL created a robotic salamander inspired by the newt, which they called the Pleurobot (after its scientific name, Pleurodeles waltl).
4. THE TERMITE THAT BLOWS ITSELF UP
Talk about taking one for the team. When under attack, a species of termites found in the French Guiana rain forests sends older worker bugs on suicide missions to defend the whole colony. These older bugs, no longer as useful to the pack as they once were, come equipped with "explosive backpacks" that, over a lifetime, fill with toxic crystals produced by glands in the abdomen. When mixed with salivary gland secretions, these crystals create a toxic liquid that explodes on enemies, paralyzing them and killing the worker at the same time. These termites aren't alone among insects in using a suicidal defensive tactic: When faced with a threat, an ant found in Borneo expands its abdomen until it ruptures, shooting out a toxic liquid.
5. THE FISH THAT SLIMES ITS ENEMIES
Hagfish are eel-shaped marine animals with the incredibly useful ability to slime their enemies. When threatened, the hagfish emit a slime from their pores that, when mixed with water, expands into a gelatinous goo that can either trap predators or suffocate them by clogging their gills. The video above shows a hagfish being attacked 14 separate times by sharks and other big fish, and coming out completely unharmed. Each predator took one bite before immediately spitting the hagfish out and swimming away, gagging. The best time to encounter a hagfish is probably after it's emptied its slime glands withstanding such an onslaught the glands take three to four weeks to refill.
6. THE SEA CUCUMBER THAT SHOOTS ORGANS OUT OF ITS ANUSiStock
Sea cucumbers can seem pretty boring. There are some 1250 known species of these sedentary creatures in the world, and many of them do indeed look like cucumbers. But when it comes to survival, things get interesting. Like starfish and sea urchins, sea cucumbers are echinoderms, and they can regenerate lost body parts if necessary. This comes in handy when they're threatened. The sea cucumber will expel its internal organs, which are sticky and sometimes contain a toxic chemical that can kill predators. They don't have much of a defense against pollution though, which is a problem, because they're superstar ocean-floor cleaners.
7. THE OPOSSUM THAT PLAYS DEADTony Alter, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
You can't do a roundup like this without at least mentioning the opossum. We typically refer to this creature's infamous defense mechanism as "playing dead," but there's actually nothing playful about it the act is completely involuntary. Under intense fear, opossums fall into a comatose-like state that can last for hours, long enough to convince any predator that the opossum is already dead. Also unappetizing: Fear causes these animals to emit a corpse-like smell that only adds to their act. Thank the opossum for providing some defense for us too: They eat venomous snakes and ticks, gobbling up to 4000 insects a week.
Cuttlefish blend into their surroundings.
Cuttlefish have the amazing ability to change their color and texture in order to blend into their surroundings. They can detect how much light is being absorbed into the environment, then use that information to mimic it with their own pigments. They have 3 skin layers (yellow, red, and brown), which can be stretched in different ways to make unique colors and patterns. Their skin also has papillae, which let cuttlefish appear rigid, like coral. Together, these features allow cuttlefish to escape predators, as well as sneak up on unsuspecting prey.
3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"
These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.
The terms in this table apply to many or all taxa in a particular biological family, class, or clade.
|Scientific term||Young||Female||Male||Collective noun||Collateral adjective||Trivial name|
|Bovinae||calf||cow (bred), heifer (not bred)||bull (intact), ox or steer (castrated)||herd, kine (archaic)||bovine||cattle cow|
|Canidae||puppy, pup,  cub, whelp||bitch||dog||pack||canine||dog|
|Cetacea||calf||cow||bull||pod||cetacean||whale, dolphin, porpoise|
|Equidae||colt (male), filly (female), foal||jenny (asses), mare (other equids)||jack (asses), stallion (other equids), gelding (castrated horse)||herd||equine||horse|
|Felidae||kitten (non-big cats, such as Felis, Lynx, Puma,  etc.), cub (big cats, Panthera, and also Puma)||queen||tom||clowder (small cats), pride (big cats)||feline||cat|
|Suidae||piglet||sow||boar||drift or drove||porcine||pig|
|Procyonidae||cub, kit||sow||boar||gaze, smack, committee||procyonine, nasuine, others||Raccoon family of Carnivorans|
|Viverridae||cub, kit||sow||boar||gaze, smack, committee||viverrine||Civet family of Carnivorans|
|Mustelidae||kit||sow (large) or jill (small)||Boar (large) or hob,  jack (small)||colony (large) or Business (small)||musteline||Ferret family of Carnivorans (large = badgers & wolverines small = weasels & ferrets)|
|Leporidae||nestling||jill||jack||nest or band||leporine||rabbits & hares|
|Osteichthyes||fry, fingerling||?||?||school, shoal||piscine, ichthyic||bony fish|
|Animal||Young||Female||Male||Collective noun||Collateral adjective||Culinary noun for meat|
|Albatross||chick||N/A||N/A||flock  |
gam (when searching for mates) 
|queen (fertile) |
|drone||army  |
colony  
|Antelope||calf ||doe||buck||herd   |
cluster  
tribe  
shrewdness    
troop   
|Ass/donkey||foal||jenny||jack||herd  |
coffle  
drove   
pace   
|Baboon||infant||babuina ||?||flange  [note 1] |
troop   
|sow||boar||cete     |
|Bat||pup||N/A||N/A||cloud   |
colony  
|Bear (list)||cub ||sow |
|boar||sleuth    |
sloth   
|N/A||N/A||family  |
colony  
worker [note 2]
|drone||cast (a second swarm)  |
cluster (of workers around the queen) 
drift  
erst  
grist  
hive   
swarm   
|Bird (list) |
Also see Aves
|chick||hen||cock||flock  |
|Boar (wild pig) |
Also see Pig
shoat/shote (just weaned)
|sow||?||herd   |
singular  
sounder (groups of 12 or more)  
|Budgerigar / Budgie||chick||?||?||?||psittacine|
|Buffalo||calf||cow, heifer||bull||herd    |
gang   
obstinancy   
|?||?||flight  |
flutter  
|Camel||calf||cow||bull||caravan  |
|Cat (list)||kitten |
gib (castrated male) 
|clowder   |
glaring  
kindle (kittens) 
|Caterpillar||?||?||?||army  ||nymphal-lepidopteran|
|Cattle [note 3] (list)||calf ||cow ||bull||herd  |
|bovine [note 4] |
|Cheetah||cub||she-cheetah||cheetah||coalition (male) ||feline|
|Chicken (list)||chick||hen |
capon (castrated male)
peep (chicks) 
|Chough||chick||?||?||chattering    |
clattering   
|Cod||codling||?||?||school ||gadoid |
|?||?||gulp    |
|?||?||herd    |
|Crocodile||hatchling||cow||bull||bask  |
|Crow||?||?||?||murder  ||corvine|
|Curlew||?||?||?||herd  ||?|
|Deer||calf  |
hart (red deer)
|bunch  |
humble (organ meat)
|Dinosaur (list)||hatchling |
|cow (herbivores) |
|bull (herbivores) |
|herd (herbivores) |
|Dog (list)||puppy  |
|bitch ||dog |
|pack (wild)   |
litter (young) 
cowardice (curs)  
comedy (boxers)  
cry (hounds) 
Also see Shark
|?||?||?||troop ||selachian |
|Spiny dogfish |
flake (UK, AUS)
kahada (CAN) 
rock salmon (UK)
|Dolphin||calf||cow||bull||school  |
pod  
|Donkey (list)- See Ass|
|Dove||chick||hen||cock||arc  |
dole  
dule  
flight   
piteousness  
|Duck (list) |
Also see Mallard
|On land: |
Merriam-Webster writes that most terms of venery fell out of use in the 16th century, including a "murder" for crows. It goes on to say that some of the terms in The Book of Saint Albans were "rather fanciful", explaining that the book extended collective nouns to people of specific professions, such as a "poverty" of pipers. It concludes that for lexicographers, many of these don't satisfy criteria for entry by being "used consistently in running prose" without meriting explanation. Some terms that were listed as commonly used were "herd", "flock", "school", and "swarm". 
Writing for Audubon, Nicholas Lund says that many such terms are not used in actuality. When he interviewed several scientists who specialize in studying specific animals, they had not heard of these terms, such as a "bask" of crocodiles or "wisdom" of wombats, being applied in their fields. Lund noted that the common plural noun for all kinds of birds was "flock" (as opposed to terms such as "parliament" of owls or "murder" of crows), conceding that a few specialized terms were in current use for certain animals that form groups, such as a "pod" of whales or "gaggle" of geese. 
How To Get A Free Air Conditioners For Low Income Families 2021
If you are looking for free air conditioners for seniors or disabled persons, you might get it. You have to fulfill some conditions, but yes, if you are really needed, you will get it. In this post, we have concentrated on various methods for getting free air conditioners for low income families. So let’s jump to it.
HEAP- Home Energy Assistance Program assists people who have money crises due to low pay due to some reason. Yes, you need to confirm your eligibility first. And once It confirms, you will get all the benefits that other people get under the HEAP program.
Working methodology of HEAP:
Besides the electricity, HEAP will help your home for heat in case if your home is running by natural gas, oil, propane, wood, wood pellets, corn, or kerosene. The state government rn the free air conditioner program and hence, to get the benefit, go any contact local government offices and ask the representative about it. No matter in which state you are living in, you will get free air conditioners for low income families.
The first option is government funds, but if we talk about HEAP, then for the first time, the program inaugurates long back. This year it will be open on May 1, 2020. They have share eligibility criteria. If you are fit in it, you will get one cooling assistance to purchase AC or fan that cools down your home temperature.
Again note that each applicant gets only one benefit for a cooling assistant. In your place, the air conditioner can’t install safely you will get a fan instead of AC. Another thing the price does not exceed $800 included the installation charges. Above $800, you will not get any help or benefits from the organization.
Eligibility criteria of HEAP
To get eligible, you have to meet specific criteria. If you can fulfill it, you will get a free air conditioner under the Heap organized free air conditioner for low income families 2021 program. Here are the requirements or conditions to take part in the HEAP air conditioning assistance for low-income families Program.
- You and other members of your house are citizens of the USA. Your home is in a listed area and has a member who’s health condition worsens due to heat. Yes, you have to provide documents to prove it.
- From the chart, you can verify the gross monthly income of your household. It is at, or less than the income shared in the guideline according to the size of your house. HEAP will confirm it later.
- The applicant receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- SNAP benefits. SNAP was formerly known as Food Stamp.
- You receive Code A Supplemental Security Income or SSI Living Alone.
- If you receive $21 or higher than $21 of regular benefits in the current working year plus if you do not have an air conditioner or have it but at least five years old, then you can take part.
- If you have received free AC by HEAP in the last 10 years, you can’t apply for it.
- The application needs to be filled with the local department of social service to get air conditioning assistance for low income families. Also, bring all the documents with you otherwise, it takes too much time.
HEAP Monthly Income Limits
Here are HEAP Monthly Income Limits:
|Maximum Gross Monthly Income||Household Size|
|Add $553||Each additional|
Note that when you apply for a free air conditioner, you are applying as the income of the family is below the limit of an average income of others. From the table, you can see the total monthly gross income is less than $2,494 for house size 1. And for the house size 11, it must be less than $7,086.
Now you know what criteria for free air conditioners from the government are, the next part is where to get an air conditioner for free. You can go to the official website or contact the nearest branch.
Once they confirm you are eligible for applying and getting free AC, it’s great. Now, you have to wait for their visit to your home. They inspect your house and help you to get and install AC.
You can also check the list of Air Conditioning by visiting your HEAP Local District Contact. Keep in mind that It’s your responsibility to maintain the AC in the best condition, and all the cost is up to you. You can reinstall it, store it or cover it after the initial installation by HEAP.
Working Of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
If you have AC, then the first LIHEAP will try to repair your old AC. If it did not work, you would get a new unit. LIHEAP and new york state government works together for home energy assistance programs. For this year, the program dates are out for the summer. In-person apply for it. To fill it, you have to visit the social service department in your area. But before going to the place, read eligibility criteria for participants. Also, look for the complete income guidelines. The application acceptance depends on the size of your household and the medical condition of the person. Yes, a person who lives in your house affects from the heat. If you can show it with valid medical proof, then only you can get grants for air conditioning units.
Check all the NGOs, charities, local communities in your area, or nearby your area. Ask for the summer cooling program. Some offer your loan with low interest, where some offer your financial aid or AC unit for a low-income family.
They try their best to offer your free AC, but alternatively, they also help you in your AC repair. Some charity charges you a little fess as a donation so that they can continuously offer such kind of program.
Summer assistance programs start in May and end in June or July. But the free Air Conditioners For Low Income Families programs, they offer fewer supplies according to their budget. Even there are many applicants, and hence program ends soon. If there are any health risks or medical emergencies, go and grab the application form ASAP.
Another way to get a free air conditioner for the disabled is from the Salvation Army Thrift Stores. You can also participate under family service program titles. From any of these options, you can get free windows mounted air conditioner.
Even if you are not fit as per the eligibility criteria, you can get the ac from their stores at a great discount. Depends on your location, the on and condition, the salvation army center offers you some exception offers and things for your help.
In case of a medical emergency, some centers will provide you Air conditioners for free. Some also offer window AC for senior citizens, elder members, veterans families, etc. If you are a single mother, then also it would be helpful to you.
As you all know, it is an international voluntary organization that helps individuals with specific needs. By participating in its free ac for the home program, you can get the one if you can well expand your condition. It opens every summer. Some families have to stay in a small house and apartment and have no way to get relief from the heat such families can apply here.
You have to apply with all necessary documents, including your ID proof and the latest medical documents.
After that, they will fix an appointment. If you are selected and get approval for your application, you will get your AC for free in a few days.
Note that each house gets single AC, and hence two people from the same home can’t apply. Plus, only those families can apply who did not get AC under the same program in the last five years.
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a concern for senior citizens and children with asthma. Even they also care about the people who can’t live as well as leave home in the scorching heat due to some health problems. That’s why they work with WCPO – 9 On Your Side, Huntington Bank, and Braun Heating to offer you a free cooling system. Together they gift 500 fans and 350 AC to need one.
Under the cooling assistance program, people get limited AC who have a medical problem, health issues and can’t deal with it during the summer heat. Each year, the application forms open in May and end in August.
For extra information related to your application, you can call the HRA Infoline at (718) 557-1399.
The eligibility criteria for Cooling assistance program are given below:
- You have to meet HEAP eligibility criteria including income guidelines
- Have one member in the house who has some severe health-related issues.
- Also, the doctor gives a valid certificate, or document narrated the same issue.
- You do not reside in the NYHA or section 8 subsidized housing.
- You do not have a free air conditioner from another kind of program.
- Working AC must be at least five years old or best if it is older than this.
If you can’t meet even a single term, you are not likely to get free air conditioners for seniors or others.
How To Get A Free Air Conditioner- Alternative Ways
HEAP indeed offers free air conditioners for low income families, but not all are lucky enough to get it due to one or another reason. If you aren’t qualified from any of the above programs, what will you do? There are still other alternative ways and options to get a free or at least cheap unit for your home. There are lots of tips and tricks to find how to get a free air conditioner. It is possible to get cheap as well as free air conditioning.
Go and buy your new AC during the offseason. The off-season timing is always best to shop for a low price. You will find many great deals and offers and get a great discount for a new product.
Go any buy during fall and winter seasons. Either go for online options, and offline options go to the stores like Home Depot. They offer a huge discount when the sales of AC drops significantly.
Go to the online market place lie eBay, Amazon, and others during the offseason. You will surely find cheap conditioning units there with a discount. Also, you will find more products to compare and choose one.
Sites like Craiglist is also a great place to pick the second-hand item. Do not worry items are in good condition. In your free time, surf there and find one which is at a low price. If you are lucky enough, then you will find old AC units for free from Craiglist.
We have already discussed free AC units and fan from Salvation Army thrift stores or Family Service Programs, but do you know that they also distribute air conditioners at a reduced price for needed people. Such a system is used. In some exceptional cases, you will get surprised by the Salvation army. However, it varies from location to location.
In case of a medical emergency, the salvation army store near you gives you window type AC for free to elder, disabled, single mother, student, or senior citizen. Children and older people are at high risk during summer, especially when they are facing some severe health problems. If you look at numbers, each summer man old and young people died during heatstroke.
This free air conditioners from the government risk can be eliminated with AC units. The small ac units mounted on the windows or bedroom walls or another part of the home. Some get fans only from assistance. Some low-income families get the AC for free, but after that, they can’t able to pay the electricity bills to keep it running during the summer.
In such a case, they get the disconnection notice from electricity providers. If you think that you will also face the same problem, make sure you will get additional financial benefits to pay the electricity bills.
Free Air Conditioners For Seniors
Some senior citizens are living alone and face some health issues. Due to it, they can’t handle the summer season without ac. Some charity and government programs giving them free air conditioners for seniors as well as their cooling bills. One of such is LIHEAP. Some other agencies are also there who focus on fulfilling the demand of low-income families and senior citizens. All the people get free air conditioners for seniors grants, but yes, you have to find the organization first. You can do this much, at least.
As we all know the Seniors health system gets weak at this age, If free air conditioner for medical reasons available for seniors so they can adjust the room temperature. Like if outside weather is cold then they can set heat mode on in air conditioners and if outside weather is hot so they can set winter mode on so they can increase the immune system.
Because seniors are affected by the heatwave and cold waves too fast compared to other healthy Persons. If free air conditioners for seniors from heap provide so that will be a big help for them
Free Air Conditioner For Disabled
Some charities and churches near you operate summer cooling programs for disabled people only. They offer financial help, loan, window fan, repairing costs to disable people who are sick. Most of the time, AC is available for free. But if in case you will not get it for free, you can look for other programs. They look for other ways to get money for the AC unit. If you can afford, then go for second-hand ac. You will surely find it, and if you tell them your condition, then a person may give it to you without money. You can also apply for free cars for disabled adults Program.
Exception Case For Free Air Conditioners:
The air conditioning assistance for low income families application period for summer cooling assistance programs starts in May and ends in July or August. But do you think that a person with health problems needs it only for summer? Sometimes it happens that a person has to stay in a stable temperature, no less and no more. For such people, the government, NGOs, and Charities offer help 365 days under various program titles. For that, you can inquire at the office and get more precise details.
Free Air Conditioner For Medical Reasons
Many people have serious medical issues and they are low-income families and want free air conditioner for medical reasons then they will get new free air conditioner. For the free air conditioner, you have to talk with the health Charity organizations. You have to Submit Medical Documents and one request letter on explaining why they give you Free Air Conditioner For Medical Reasons.
And you have to mention there you want free air conditioner for medical reasons for a limited time or Lifetime ownership. After Submitting your documentation they visit your house and see the location of the Patients Room. And also decide are you capable to pay the electric bill or not. After that, they give you a Free air conditioner. You can also talk with them and clear that the Installation of Air-conditioner is Free or Not.
Many Charity Organizations Give you easily free air conditioner for medical reasons but they will charge you some money for Installation but AC will completely free.
How to Get Government Grants For Air Conditioning Units
With the help of government grants, you can cover the entire cost of your new air conditioning unit. You can choose ac from its ratings and start. A wise choice can save you lots of electricity and ultimately benefits you by reducing the cost of operating. There are three types of grants: state grants, local grants, and federal tax credit.
As a part of the economic recovery package, the State Energy-Efficient Appliance Rebate Program offers grants for air conditioners. Note that the state grants are served on a first-come, first basis, and hence you have to apply fast. Local grants are offering free ac from the local charitable organization. For example, Modest Needs award $1000 grants for an emergency, including Grants for air conditioning units.
You can ask the United States Department of Health and Human Services for different Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to get free ac for your home. Some charities also offer help to the classified people. And if they are doing so, first check the eligibility criteria to apply free air conditioners from the government.
Air conditioning Assistance For low-income Families From Government
You can join the local community near you to get Free Air Conditioners for Low-Income Families or free air conditioners for disabled. For example, you can take part in the DOE program or program from US department energy. They have collaborated with the government to offer such assistance. They pay for your cooling apparatus that are related to air conditioners. It means eligible persons get AC for free.
Not only new AC but people can repair their old or existing AC units. low-income families can also take part in free cars given away Program you can apply to Get a free car now Program.
This program is also available according to the regulations and rules of the state. In short, you will get help depends on the amount of money allocated by Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program-LIHEAP. Each year the terms and time changed. At present, there are a total of 35 states that offer this free air conditioning program.
Senior also can take part in this Program free air conditioners for seniors program if they are Physically disabled.
Aside from exhaust, polluted outdoor air contains dust and traces of metals and solvents that can lead to cancer. Experts know this from looking at data from over 1.2 million people across the U.S.
You can't avoid pollution, but you can do your part to avoid contributing to it by walking or biking instead of driving. Follow local public health warnings and stay indoors on days when air quality is bad.
American Cancer Society: "Known and Probable Human Carcinogens," "Harmful Chemicals in Tobacco Products," "Diesel Exhaust and Cancer," "How to Test Your Home for Radon," "Asbestos and Cancer Risk," "World Health Organization Says Processed Meat Causes Cancer," "Talcum Powder and Cancer," "Does UV Radiation Cause Cancer?" "Can I Avoid Exposure to UV Radiation?" "Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Cancer Risk," "World Health Organization: Outdoor Air Pollution Causes Cancer," "Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II)."
Cancer Research UK: "How Smoking Causes Cancer," "How Air Pollution Can Cause Cancer."
Environmental Protection Agency: "Health Risk of Radon," "How do I get a radon test kit? Are they free?"
National Cancer Institute, "Acrylamide and Cancer Risk," "Alcohol and Cancer Risk," "Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk."
FDA: "Acrylamide: Information on Diet, Food Storage and Food Preparation."
Cancer Council: "How ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes skin cancer."
Reviews on Environmental Health: "Skin cancer: role of ultraviolet radiation in carcinogenesis."
Breastcancer.org, "Do Hormonal Contraceptives Increase Breast Cancer Risk?"
North American Menopause Society: "Hormone Therapy: Benefits and Risks."
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: "Links between air pollution and cancer risk."
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study species and study sites
We measured resting metabolic rate (RMR), EWL and Tb in species representing three avian orders in the southern Kalahari Desert in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, an arid area with a mean annual rainfall of ∼200 mm and summer daily maximum Ta ranging from ∼20 to 43°C (Whitfield et al., 2015). We followed the methodology of Whitfield et al. (2015) to quantify thermoregulatory responses to high Ta in a field laboratory from January to April 2012 at Wildsgenot Game Ranch (27°04′S, 21°23′E), and from January to March 2013 at Leeupan Game Ranch (26°58′S, 21°50′E).
We trapped six African cuckoos (Cuculus gularis Stephens 1815 order Cuculiformes hereafter cuckoos) with a mean±s.d. body mass (Mb) of 109.6±5.6 g (range 99.0–116.0 g) at Leeupan Game Ranch during early 2013 (austral summer) using mist nets. We trapped 10 lilac-breasted rollers (Coracias caudatus Linnaeus 1766 Order Coraciiformes hereafter rollers) with an Mb of 95.4±8.5 g (78.2–110.35 g) two individuals were trapped in February 2012 at Wildsgenot Game Ranch, and the remaining individuals were trapped at Leeupan Game Ranch between January 2013 and March 2013. We trapped seven Burchell's starlings [Lamprotornis australis (Smith 1836) order Passeriformes hereafter starlings] with an Mb of 109.1±9.3 g (85.4–116.9 g) using mist nets and/or flap traps baited with tenebrionid beetle larvae on Wildsgenot Game Ranch in February 2012, and Leeupan Game Ranch from December 2013 to February 2013. Measurements were carried out on the same day of capture. If birds were not tested within the first 3 h of being trapped, they were housed in cages constructed of shade-cloth, and were provided with tenebrionid beetle larvae and water ad libitum, until physiological measurements commenced.
Birds were held in respirometry chambers for 2–3 h, a period that typically limited Mb loss to <5% of initial Mb (mean Mb loss during measurements was 4.0±1.8% of initial values), and time in captivity did not exceed 24 h, after which birds were released at the site of capture following Whitfield et al. (2015). All experimental procedures were approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the University of Pretoria (protocol EC071-11) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the University of New Mexico (12-1005370-MCC). A permit to trap the birds was issued by the Northern Cape Department of Environmental Affairs (ODB 008/2013).
Gas exchange and temperature measurements
We used the same experimental set-up as described by Whitfield et al. (2015) to obtain gas exchange, Ta and Tb measurements. We measured Tb using calibrated temperature-sensitive passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags (Biomark, Boise, ID, USA) which were injected intraperitoneally into the abdominal cavity of each bird shortly after capture. We monitored Tb throughout gas exchange measurements, using a reader and transceiver system (model FS2001, Biomark, Boise, ID, USA). We obtained carbon dioxide production (V̇CO2) and EWL measurements over the Ta range of 25–56°C (depending on the species), also using the same experimental setup as described by Whitfield et al. (2015). All three species were placed individually in 9-l plastic chambers, and stood on a platform of plastic mesh 10 cm above a 1-cm layer of mineral oil to trap excreta. We used flow rates between 9 and 30 l min −1 for cuckoos, 9 and 70 l min −1 for rollers and 10 and 55 l min −1 for starlings, depending on the experimental Ta, in order to keep chamber humidity below 5 ppt. As was the case in previous studies using the same methodology (Smith et al., 2015 Whitfield et al., 2015 McKechnie et al., 2016a,b), birds remained calmer at very high Ta when we increased flow rate (and hence decreased humidity).
Following the protocol described by Whitfield et al. (2015), we exposed birds to progressively higher Ta, with increments of approximately 5°C between 25 and 40°C, and 2°C increments between 40°C and the maximum Ta (ranging from 48 to 56°C depending on the species). Tests were conducted during the day, as this was the active phase of all three species. Birds spent between 10 and 30 min at each Ta value. We continually monitored birds during measurements using a live video feed and an infrared light source (Whitfield et al., 2015). We recorded behavioural responses of birds within the respirometry chambers every 2 min an activity state score of the individual (e.g. calm, turning around or jumping) was recorded, as well as respiratory EHL mechanisms, including panting (defined as gaping) and gular flutter (defined as an obvious pulsation of hyoid bone in the gular area while gaping). For each individual, we recorded the air temperature and body temperature at which heat dissipation behaviour was initiated.
We followed Whitfield et al. (2015) in terminating test runs when a bird (1) exhibited prolonged escape behaviour such as agitated jumping, pecking and/or wing flapping, (2) showed signs of a loss of coordination or balance accompanied by Tb>44°C or (3) exhibited a decrease in EWL and RMR accompanied by an uncontrolled increase in Tb. In the last instance, a bird was considered to have reached its upper limit of heat tolerance, and the Ta associated with the onset of these signs of heat stress was considered the thermal endpoint for that individual. When a bird reached any of the conditions described above, we removed the individual from the chamber by hand, gently rubbed a cotton pad soaked in ethanol onto its body, and held it in front of an air-conditioner producing chilled air in order to facilitate rapid heat loss (Whitfield et al., 2015).
Data were analysed following Whitfield et al. (2015). We calculated physiological estimates by extracting EWL and Tb as the lowest 5 min mean at each Ta using Expedata (Sable Systems, Las Vegas, NV, USA). We present whole-animal values, although we also calculated the slope of mass-specific EWL versus Ta to compare our values with the allometric equation presented by McKechnie and Wolf (2010). We followed McKechnie et al. (2017) by converting rates of EWL to evaporative heat loss (W) assuming a latent heat of vaporisation of water of 2.406 J mg −1 at 40°C (Tracy et al., 2010). Because none of our study species have crops, we assumed all birds were post-absorptive at the time of measurements, but we were unable to confirm this. Measurements typically took place more than 1 h after capture, and food (mealworm larvae) was only offered to individuals not tested within 3 h of capture. We therefore assumed a respiratory exchange ratio of 0.85, representative of a mix of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in post-absorptive birds (Walsberg and Wolf, 1995), and converted rates of V̇CO2 to metabolic rate (W) using 24.4 J ml −1 CO2 (Withers, 1992).
We used segmented linear regression models fitted in the R package segmented (Muggeo, 2009) to estimate inflection Ta in the physiological data. Although our use of these models violates assumptions of independent samples, we used segmented models purely to aid us in identifying inflection Ta values in physiological variables. We subsequently used linear mixed-effects models that included individual identity as a random factor in the R package nlme (Pinheiro et al., 2009) to obtain estimates of physiological variables as a function of Ta, using subsets of the data above respective inflection Ta. We contrasted the slopes of physiological parameters obtained from these mixed-effects models among species by including data previously collected from laughing doves (Stigmatopelia senegalensis, 89.4±13.0 g hereafter doves) studied at the same time and site as our species (McKechnie et al., 2016a), and freckled nightjars (Caprimulgus tristigma, 64.7±6.3 g hereafter nightjars) studied from a desert site in Namaqualand, South Africa (O'Connor et al., 2017). Thermoregulatory data in the doves and nightjars were collected in the same manner as described here, although we recalculated physiological estimates of V̇CO2, EWL and Tb in the dove, as the lowest 5 min mean at each Ta, to facilitate comparison with our study species and the nightjar. Our small sample size of species prevented us from conducting more rigorous statistical analyses that test phylogenetic inertia and, if necessary, account for phylogenetic relatedness. We calculated the upper and lower 95% confidence limits (CL) of each coefficient, and considered species to differ quantitatively in the parameters when there was no overlap in the 95% CL.
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