2.22.2009

New Research Shows Hibernation May Prevent Extinction
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Why do animals hibernate? It might be an adaptation.

Mammals that regularly hunker down, hibernate, or otherwise hide from the world are better at weathering environmental change than are less hermitic species, according to a new study. The finding offers a window into which animals might thrive as the climate changes and habitats vanish.

"Just imagine yourself in a war zone," said lead researcher Lee Hsiang Liow, a paleobiologist at the University of Oslo. "Having some food storage and a place to avoid harsh environmental conditions would help you survive that period while there was bombing outside in your habitat."

Read more at Discovery.

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