Possum sets 367 days hibernation record

November 14th, 2007 - 2:16 am ICT by admin  
An Australian eastern pygmy possum (Cercartetus nanus) in Fritz Geiser’s lab at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales stuffed itself full of food, and hibernated for a record 367 days.

It used just one-fortieth of the energy it normally spends while awake, said Geiser.

Geiser said this probably allowed the possum to survive lean times in Australia’s unpredictable climate.

Some mammals, such as ground squirrels, hibernate for up to six months through winter, while a western jumping mouse (Zapus princeps) once reportedly hibernated for 320 days in a lab.

The study appears in the journal Naturwissenschaften, reports New Scientist magazine. (ANI)

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