Upside-down rhino research wins Ig Nobel Prize https://t.co/NdeEgFaIYN
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 10, 2021
I’m not a fan of grief pr0n, so here’s something literally more uplifting:
… What could seem more daft than hanging 12 rhinos upside down for 10 minutes?
But wildlife veterinarian Robin Radcliffe, from Cornell University, and colleagues did exactly this in Namibia because they wanted to know if the health of the animals might be compromised when slung by their legs beneath a helicopter.
It’s an activity that increasingly has been used in African conservation work to shift rhinos between areas of fragmented habitat.
However, no-one had done the basic investigation to check that the tranquillised animals’ heart and lung function coped with upside-down flying, said Robin.
It turns out, the animals coped very well. In fact, there was evidence the rhinos did better in this unusual position than simply lying chest down or on their side.
“I think the reason for that is, when a rhino is on its side, you have positional effects of blood flow. So in other words, the lower parts of the lung are getting lots of blood flow for gas exchange, but the upper part of the lung, just because of gravity, is not getting perfused well, so when a rhino is hanging upside down, it’s basically like it’s standing upside up; the lung is equally perfused…
Other jackal-pleasing winners (full list at the link):