Opportunistic Torpor Down Under

Seasonal torpor is well known in northern latitudes. Placental mammals, including some rodents and many bat species, enter torpor to conserve energy when ambient temperatures fall and food becomes scarce. Prolonged torpor is characterized by highly Read More...

Hibernation, Life in the Slow Lane

Biologists are well aware of the trade offs between reproduction and survival for r versus K selected species. Theory predicts that r-selected species grow quickly, produce more offspring at a time, exhibit minimal parental care, and have relatively short lifespans. In contrast, K-selected organisms produce relatively few Read More...

Hibernation: News from the Bear’s Den

Do bears really hibernate or do they enter a shallow form of torpor called winter sleep? True hibernation is particularly well understood in small mammals (i.e. ground squirrels), where core body temperatures drop to near freezing for Read More...

Does Hibernation Make You Dumb?

Studies of hibernating ground squirrels reveal that long periods at extremely reduced body temperature can alter the biochemistry of the brain and lead to temporary memory loss Read More...

Climate Change Makes Marmots Fat and Fit

Environmental change, including global warming, is altering the ecology and behavior of mammal species. For example, red squirrels in the Yukon are breeding 18 days earlier than they did only ten years ago (Reale et al., 2010). Likewise, climate change altered hibernation behavior in yellow-bellied marmots Read More...