Sometimes it feels like rodents have it too easy. Can’t we sploot too?
It might look strange for humans, but splooting — basically, stretching the body out — is the top way our four-legged friends (or enemies) try to beat the heat. Pug sploots are particularly epic, if you’ve had the chance to witness one.
And if you see any squirrels in New York City parks doing that same thing — lying on their stomaches and stretching their back legs out behind them, parks officials want you to know they’re not in any danger.
“It’s just fine,” NYC Parks tweeted Monday, along with a photo of a splooting squirrel. “On hot days, squirrels keep cool by splooting (stretching out) on cool surfaces to reduce body heat. It is sometimes referred to as heat dumping.”
It’s possible, of course, that humans could try this on tile floors. Those cold tiles are what give your pets relief when you see them splooting at him. (Yes, it works as a verb, too.)
New York City squirrel splooting is hardly a new phenomenon. Gothamist reported on fire escape splooters in 2019. The recent heat just makes the behavior more common and us more likely to witness it (and, perhaps, dreaming of doing it ourselves).
Naturally, the resurgence has elicited more pressing questions: Do red-tailed hawks sploot? Is that why my dachshund does it? What about rabbits?
According to NYC Parks, young birds “may demonstrate a full sploot at times” but they don’t usually lay down because that makes them too vulnerble. They perch and hold out their wings to let facilitate airflow.
The Parks tweet clearly touched a nerve, with nearly 8,500 users liking it since it was posted Monday afternoon. Some of the 880-plus quote tweets are pretty hilarious — if you happen to be on a lunch break (or splooting in the park).
Source: NBC New York
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