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black-plumaged birdsHOW CAN BLACK BE AN ADAPTATION TO THE DESERT?

Having black feathers/fur/exoskeleton helps black animals heat up in the morning and cool off during the day. Here's how it works.

Compared to white, black absorbs more heat, but stops more of the sunlight from penetrating deeper toward the body. When the air is still, during the cold morning hours, the heat absorbed into the black surface has time to conduct inward to the body, heating the animal. During the hotter part of the day, when the animal is flying or running and/or the wind is blowing, the wind (by convection) quickly whisks away the heat that is absorbed by the outer surface before the heat has time to conduct inward to the body. Thus the animal remains cooler than if the sunlight was able to penetrate through white surface into the body.