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On Wed, 19 Mar 1997, Darren Naish wrote:

> Matt Fraser wrote:
> > Are there any extant species of reptile or, more to the point, bird that
> > truly hibernate? 
> As discussed on this list way way back, one bird at least is known to 
> definitely
> hibernate: the Common poorwill (_Phanaloptilus nuttali_, or something like 
> that)
> (older name is Nuttal's whip-poorwill). This is a North American nightjar
> (Caprimulgidae). It's easily possible, but as yet unreported, that other
> caprimulgids hibernate too.

Well, that's neat!  I just joined the list yesterday, so I wouldn't have
been aware of previous discussions. 
> Further to this, numerous small birds are capable of torpor and a wide variety
> do it on a regular basis. Hummingbirds, colies, manakins, swifts etc. all do 
> it
> for short periods (e.g. over the length of a single night) to reduce metabolic
> costs. It's not as 'deep' as true hibernation of course.
> These observations must be extended to dinosaurs with *extreme* caution, if,
> preferably, at all.

Well, yes, that's true, but at least there is no reason that we might
point to from extant species to say that it is improbable that dinos might
have developed the ability to hibernate. Of course, the large species may
have had difficulty finding a protected place to hide away while doing so. 

> Back to the ichthyosaurs and hexanchids..




                     Member of The Paleo Ring


Matt Fraser                               "The Real World is very 
                                            complex and chaotic,
mattf+@pitt.edu                         so that, in order to survive,
                                   humans find it necessary to construct   
                                           an illusion of reality."
                                               Author Unknown