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TODAY   |  June 18, 2013

You laughing at me? Cackling animal wows studio

Wildlife expert Corbin Maxey introduces the TODAY anchors to animals that have adapted amazing strategies to survive in hot environments, including a laughing kookaburra, an adorable fennec fox, a redfoot tortoise, and a wallaby.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

summer officially begins friday and as temperatures rise we all have to find a way to beat the heat. even the animals.

>> that's right, wildlife expert corbin maxie is here with some clever creatures who've adapteded to extreme conditions.

>> corbin, good to see you.

>> good to see, and

>> you like this animal which is shocking.

>> this is a cute little guy. i can handle this

>> this is a fox. this is from africa. some of the most hostile environments in africa.

>> the sahara desert , right?

>> yeah, temperatures -- and al you're big into weather, get over 130 degrees fahrenheit.

>> wow

>> his ears help him, actually help him

>> it helps release heat.

>> so they have the ears but take a look at the feet, you guys see that?

>> they also have fur, basically on their feet which helps as like sand shoes to help prevent them from getting on that really really hot sand.

>> kind of like snow shoes for the sand.

>> and then there's so little water there, how do they adopt to that?

>> okay, collest fact

>> this is the only animal in the sahara actually that can survive without water.

>> so basically, how long?

>> for indefinite, they can get the moisture they need from the food then?

>> from the food, they're omnivores, so eating insects , small reptiles,

>> and also will eat some vegetation like roots and stuff like that.

>> and their thick fair, although it would seem to keep them hot,

>> it is actually like an insulator?

>> yeah it's an insulator and it blocks the sun and also their activities, they're going to be primary, nocturnal. anything they can to escape that heat.

>> isn't that good? he's a nice guy

>> i'm going to pass them over here to you. okay ready?

>> next to the laughing kookaburra .

>> oh my gosh, i'm so excited, okay

>> this is one of my favorite animals, a kookaburra and to get it to talk, we're all going to have to vibrate our lips. i'm serious, right now.

>> one, two, three

>>

>> look at that.

>> so basically what this kookaburra is doing, it's announcing his territory to other kookaburra families.

>> do they think you're a kookaburra by making that noise?

>> i think so

>> okay.

>> okay. yeah.

>> kookaburra wins.

>> they can survive completely without water getting it from the food that they eat. good.

>> fantastic animal .

>> is there a crying kookaburra ?

>> i don't know. there's a song you were telling me about too. i don't know.

>> in girl scouts we sang the song.

>> how does it tendorize it's prey.

>> this is amazing, so what it does, it actually tenderizes it's prey

>> by smacking it against the ground and branches.

>> they'll get small snakes, take them up in the air and they will let them drop to tenderize them.

>> smart move

>> that's a wholesome fact, right?

>> i'm going to pass kookaburra over here

>> watch over here, this is really cool, i'm a big reptile guy

>> this is right here is a red foot tortoise

>> did the fox get loose?

>> did it get loose?

>> i think we're good

>> oh yeah, it's right here!

>> okay, that's fine, well things are going over there

>> she's okay.it's okay tinkerbell

>> it's kind of like the sahara desert , he just blends right in.

>> except it's green right here. aww, poor guy

>> this is a red foot tortise.

>> this is a red foot tortoise. so when people think of a tortoise they think desert, but this animal is actually from the northern parts of south america . tropical. so in extreme heat, it actually estibatesis, which is just like hibernation but it's in response to really, really warm temperatures.

>> how long does it estibate?

>> it depends. it can be several months and depends on the season and depends on the rainy season . beautiful animal . tropical tortoise still has to deal with the heat.

>> what's the biggest threat to its survival?

>> humans, people eat them, in central and south america , over exploitation and also for the pet trade as well. please stop eating tortoises. because they're fantatic.

>> i'm going to set it down

>> this is so cool. this is russel the wallaby from australia. and this animal has he has a fantastic way to deal with the heat, it licks it's arms and chest.

>> that's like willie geist .

>> i'm serious!

>> there's a way to beat the heat.

>> yeah, itlicks it's arms and chest.it's very good

>> how old is this guy?

>> he's a few years old. they can live up to 15 or 20 years.

>> the female wallaby is always pregnant.

>> can you imagine, wouldn't that suck?

>> it's always pregnant

>> that is awfulm in the heat?

>> oh my gosh, that's horrible.

>> they're always pregnant. it's a fantastic animal --

>> it's called embryonic diapods and that's the way that these animals have evolved

>> and grabbing the tail like that, it's okay.

>> do you want to hold it. just don't let it go natalie.

>> because we're, okay look on the table -- it's trying to eat the table. we're hiring for an animal assistant positions.