Moose at Minnesota Zoo get waterbeds as part of research study

Categories: Animals
Moose MN Zoo.jpg
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Zoo.
Oh, you know, just loungin' on my waterbed, listening to some Floyd.
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Moose at the Minnesota Zoo seem to be bringing back a trend that died in the '70s. 

As part of a zoo-led research study on the impact of heat stress, the moose are now enjoying the comfort of waterbeds in their holding areas.

According to Dr. Nick McCann, a Minnesota Zoo conservation biologist and author of the heat-stress study, the moose are typically bedded on rubber mats topped with straw in the holding area.

"The rubber mats may be insulating the moose -- they may not allow heat to be conducted away from their bodies to the ground below," McCann said in a statement. "One of the questions we will ask in the study is whether the waterbed will be better than the rubber mat at conducting the heat because water is an excellent conductor of heat."

The overall objective of the study, according to the zoo, is to determine how the ambient air temperature, the bedding surface, humidity, solar radiation and other factors combined signal to the moose that it is "hot." Researchers will compare how hot moose are when bedded on the waterbeds and the rubber mats.

No word as to whether lava lamps are included in the study.

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