Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!
This week's word of the week is sploot [sploot] (n.): the pose an animal makes when it lies on its stomach with its hind legs stretched out back and flat.
Splooting is a common behaviour among some four-legged mammals like squirrels that stretch themselves out on cool surfaces on hot summer days to reduce their body heat or to just relax. This behaviour is also called heat dumping.
If you see a squirrel lying down like this, don't worry; it's just fine. 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. pic.twitter.com/pD1T3lPbBH
— NYC Parks (@NYCParks) August 9, 2022
Some other mammals that you can often see splooting are pets like dogs and cats. Dogs, especially corgis, are well known for their splooting poses.