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Some animals deal with winter by not dealing with it. This collection of Web sites highlights the phenomenon of hibernation and a few of the species that opt for this coping strategy. MSN Encarta provides the first Web site, which presents a solid overview of hibernation in the animal kingdom, including the distinction between true hibernation and other types of torpor (1). Next, PBS offers a look at the world's largest hibernator -- the bear -- in an article from the Web site for the NOVA documentary titled Japan's Secret Garden (2). The article describes the winter habits of the black bear, and what understanding bear hibernation physiology means for human organ preservation, kidney disorders, human hibernation, and even long-distance space travel. Similarly, wood frogs and their amazing ability to freeze solid during the winter months has led to the development of the world's first technology for preserving organs at subfreezing temperatures. San Francisco's Exploratorium presents the research of Dr. Boris Rubinsky, who pioneered this technology, and other interesting facts about wood frogs in a well-designed and informative Web site (3). The December 2002/ January 2003 issue of Natural History Magazine, published by the American Museum of Natural History, features a sizeable article describing the fascinating physiological adaptations these tortoises have evolved to cope with their extreme environments, including a lengthy hibernation and a complicated cycle of feeding and urine retention (4). And what do insects do in the winter? The Entomology Section of the Smithsonian's Department of Systematic Biology provides a brief account of different insect strategies for surviving cold weather, from mig ration to hibernation to overwintering as eggs, larvae, nymphs, or pupae (5). The next Web site contains a transcript of the December 31, 2002 segment of the radio series Earth and Sky (6). The transcript touches briefly on Hibernation Inducement Trigger, an opiate compound found in the blood of true hibernators. Steve Sarre and Doug Armstrong of New Zealand's Massey University have posted a great photograph of a garter snake hibernaculum, or winter den, on their vertebrate zoology course Web site (7). Phil, the most celebrated hibernator of all, gets his own Web site with Groundhog.org, the official site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club (8). Visitors to this site may find out all the festivities planned for Phil's famous February 2nd weather prediction.
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Date Issued 2003
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2003-01-10
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/NSDL/LifeSci/2003/ls-030110#TopicInDept...

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