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hibernation



Hi Gang

We've been discussing metabolism strategies (cold blooded, etc) and I thought
there was a very interesting article in this months Discovery (dec96 p48)
about some very different appraoches to this problem by some rather unknown
species. I bring this up because it inforces the idea that there are many
ways to skin this cat with a few good real and wild approaches. Try on the
pygmy possum. It hibernates all winter at about 35 f and 1% of its awake
metabolism. That compares to a bears 5 degree lowering and 33% of its awake
matabolism. This guy really shuts down. Then there is a lemur (gray mouse
lemur) that will drop 30F everyday to save calories. This ends up saving
anout 40 to 50% on its daily diet. But they are not "cold blooded" because
they can raise their internal temperature internally. So what were the
dino's??? Probably a lot more variable than we might ever think.

paul sparks