"In cold wet weather, mammals face hypothermia if they cannot dry themselves. By rapidly oscillating their bodies, through a process similar to shivering, furry mammals can dry themselves within seconds. We use high-speed videography and fur particle tracking to characterize the shakes of 33 animals (16 animals species and five dog breeds), ranging over four orders of magnitude in mass from mice to bears. We here report the power law relationship between shaking frequency f and body mass M to be f ∼ M−0.22, which is close to our prediction of f ∼ M−0.19 based upon the balance of centrifugal and capillary forces. We also observe a novel role for loose mammalian dermal tissue: by whipping around the body, it increases the speed of drops leaving the animal and the ensuing dryness relative to tight dermal tissue."
Share This Article
Want the best of BuzzFeed Animals in your inbox? Sign up for a newsletter today!