Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.

Have you ever wondered why a lizard can spend hours lying in the sun? No, they are not tanning, they are sun-basking for survival, such as thermoregulation, producing and regulating vitamin D levels, stimulating their metabolism, and even ultraviolet (UV) protection.

Source: CivicCenterTV/YouTube

A team of scientists has classified sun-basking as a necessity rather than a leisure activity. Moreover, the research indicated a significant anthropogenic (human-led) disturbance in the basking patterns’ behavioral repertoires, especially relating to the effects of the tourism industry on animal health. The researchers found that basking time around disturbed burrows amounted to half the time spent around undisturbed burrows across all the time intervals of the day.

In addition to thermoregulation, a study found that sun-basking aids survival by regulating a vital hormone, vitamin D3. According to this research, panther chameleons gauge their internal vitamin D levels and alter their sun-basking behavior accordingly, with results corresponding to the study’s mathematical predictions of optimal UV exposure for their vitamin D profile. The study also noted that panther chameleons bask for many other reasons than just thermoregulation, such as visibility and mating.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Both cold-blooded and warm-blooded animal species employ the strategy of sun-basking for survival, including meerkats, sea lions, African penguins, and alligators, to name a few. Recent research by Walter Arnold at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology found that sun-basking in sub-zero temperatures forms an important part of the strategy of Alpine ibex for surviving the winter. This study is significant because while sun-basking is well known for reptiles, as well as being observed in small mammals, it was previously overlooked in large animals to this extent. Another study concluded that aquatic sun-basking is a novel and ecologically significant mechanism for thermoregulation in free-ranging carp.

In a 2017 study, a team of scientists investigated how thermal mismatches between animals and their environments have led to various amphibian extinctions. The researchers found that extinctions occur when climatic conditions shift from historical baseline temperatures. The researchers referred to this phenomenon as the Thermal Mismatch Hypothesis, which predicts the effect of climate change on disease patterns for cool- versus warm-adapted animals. A 2020 study correlates the findings of the Thermal Mismatch Hypothesis. According to the authors, there is a link between the reduced life expectancy of cold-blooded vertebrates and Global warming.

Human-caused Climate change is warming our oceans and harming the delicate underwater ecosystems. The single best thing that you can do to help fight Climate change is to go vegan. With the latest IPCC report that says it’s ‘now or never‘ to take action against Climate change, we need to act fast!

We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!