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Patches on giraffes play a surprising role

Staying cool in hot weather is central to the survival of most giraffes, and this function is believed to be greatly aided by one of their most noticeable features—patches. According to, "The dark patches on a giraffe's body hide an intricate network of blood vessels and glands. These allow blood to flow through them, releasing heat and cooling the body." As such, these pigmented areas have been called their "thermal window.
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