31 Mar '18, 5am

Watch as this black bear emerges from hibernation in a tree in Glacier National Park!

Watch as this black bear emerges from hibernation in a tree in Glacier National Park!

Compared with the trudge to work through several feet of snow, winter hibernation sounds like a pretty cushy lifestyle. But it's not a dislike of cold, wet feet that drives some animals into a wintry slumber. It seems they hibernate because it's easier to stay alive that way, possibly by escaping predators. A new analysis examines the "life histories" of animals — previously published data on how long they live and how many offspring they have — in respect to whether or not they hibernate. Generally, smaller animals live shorter lives and larger ones live longer, but hibernating animals seem to be the exception, the researchers said. "We found that small hibernating mammals have slow life histories for their body mass, and this correlates to their high survival," said lead study researcher Christopher Turbill at the Research Institute for Wildlife Ecology in Vienna, Austri...

Full article: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/hunker-...

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