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Urohidrosis (sometimes spelled "urohydrosis") is the habit in some birds of defecating onto the scaly portions of the legs as a cooling mechanism, using evaporative cooling of the fluids. Several species of storks and New World vultures exhibit this behaviour. Birds' droppings consist of faeces and urine, which are excreted together through the cloaca. The term is also used to describe the analogous behaviour in seals that cool themselves while basking by urinating on their hind flippers.
...Because of its apparent functional similarity to true sweating, I suggest the term urohidrosis (Greek: ouron = urine; hidrōs = sweat) for this phenomenon.
- ^ Elliott, A. (1992). "Family Ciconiidae (Storks)". In del Hoyo, J; A. Elliott, J. Sargatal. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 1.. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. pp. 441–449.
- ^ Sibley, Charles G.; Ahlquist, Jon E. (1990), Phylogeny and Classification of Birds: A Study in Molecular Evolution, Yale University Press (published 1991), pp. 513, ISBN 0-300-04085-7, http://books.google.com/books?id=cfjAvuxL-9wC&pg=PA513&dq=urohidrosis&sig=f-pfL13cKlDrBiw-VjW6PM82mgU, retrieved 2007-09-09
- ^ "California Condors Cool Facts Ventana Wildlife Society". http://www.ventanaws.org/species_condors_coolfacts/. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- ^ Gentry, Roger L. (1973). "Thermoregulatory Behavior of Eared Seals". Behaviour 46 (1&2): 73–93.
- ^ Brown, Lesley, ed. (1993). New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 1231. ISBN 0-19-861271-0.
- ^ Kahl, M.P. (1963). "Thermoregulation in the Wood Stork, with special reference to the role of the legs". Physiol. Zool. 36: 141–151.
- ^ Henckel, R.E. (1976). "Lesions associated with fecal accumulation on leg bands in Turkey Vultures.". American Bird Bander 1: 126.
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|This article is part of Project Bird Behaviour, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each behavioural term related to birds.|