From sweating, to panting, to pulling water from air, living systems rely on a number of forms and processes to stay cool and hydrated.

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On hot, muggy days, one of our first priorities is to stay cool. Staying cool enables us to focus and be productive. It keeps us mentally cool, fending off a bad mood. And, staying cool is critically linked to staying hydrated. Yet the costs of air conditioning our homes and offices—equipment, installation, maintenance, and large amounts of electricity—are overwhelming. This collection shares some of nature’s strategies for staying cool when it gets hot.

Plants and animals have a diversity of ways to keep cool. Some are well-known, like sweating. Others may be less familiar, such as how ticks pull water from the air. Explore these strategies and consider how emulating them in human designs could inspire new ways to cool our buildings, our appliances, our computers, and ourselves.

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