Why do animals love to bask in the sun? (Hint: It's not just to stay warm.)
Reptiles are well-known for this behavior, but roadrunners, lemurs, and other animals also soak in rays to conserve energy and protect against disease.
Every summer, beaches around the world fill up with sprawled-out sunbathers, but humans aren’t the only ones who make it a point to soak in the sun. Across the animal kingdom, creatures big and small meet biological needs by basking in the rays of Earth’s closest star.
This includes familiar sun-lovers like lizards and other reptiles, as well as countless species less well known for their sunbathing habits, from frogs to monarch butterflies to hippos. Even birds like a good sun session: Avians from at least 50 families periodically perch or fly to the ground, stretch out their wings, and bake themselves like beach bums working on a tan.