The animal kingdom is a wild and wonderful place. Dogs, squirrels, bear and beasts of all shapes and sizes have their own habits and mannerisms. Sometimes these actions are similar to human behavior and other times they just have their own way of doing things.

A few weeks ago social media blew up with pictures of animals all around New York acting strangely. Are these animals ill? Rabid? In heat? What is up with them? Laying with their belly on the ground and all 4 legs spread out! What the heck are they doing and why?

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It appears that these animals have been 'splooting'! Have you ever heard of splooting? I checked Collins Dictionary and this is what they said regarding animals - To lie flat on the stomach with the hind legs stretched out behind the body. Hey, that's what these animals are doing! Splooting! But why?

I can give you a hint. One reason this blew up on social media a few weeks ago is because we were in a heat wave here in New York State. Hot, humid, wet and gross. Does this help to figure it out?

According to AccuWeather, splooting is healthy for animals and is one way that helps them cool down amid extreme summer heat. With temperatures expected to be near 90 this weekend you just might see more splooting going on Around the Capital Region, in our parks, sidewalks or just about anywhere.

Do humans sploot? Yes, but only as a last resort.

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