Climate change might affect hibernation

February 5, 2008

A U.S. study suggested global warning and its associated environmental changes could affect the survival of hibernating species, such as ground squirrels.

A Colorado State University study led by Professor Greg Florant, in collaboration with Penn State University Professor Stam Zervanoshas, found changes in snowfall, summer precipitation and ambient temperatures might be altered by climate change.

"We do know that there are definite changes in torpor patterns among the animals in their natural environments," Florant said. "The question now is: Will we see these changes in the lab?"

Torpor is a period of reduced physical activity, body temperature and metabolism.

The primary aim of the new study is to determine the impact warmer conditions will have on the amount of time spent hibernating. If animals were to increase their metabolism before plants have begun to sprout, they could die from starvation, the scientists said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Meteorite source in asteroid belt not a single debris field

February 17, 2019

A new study published online in Meteoritics and Planetary Science finds that our most common meteorites, those known as L chondrites, come from at least two different debris fields in the asteroid belt. The belt contains ...

Diagnosing 'art acne' in Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings

February 17, 2019

Even Georgia O'Keeffe noticed the pin-sized blisters bubbling on the surface of her paintings. For decades, conservationists and scholars assumed these tiny protrusions were grains of sand, kicked up from the New Mexico desert ...

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.