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Hibernation




On Thu, 13 Aug 1998, Allan Edels wrote:
> I reasoned that since most of the
> survivors could hibernate, maybe the extinct animals could not hibernate.
> (My idea at the time was that dinosaurs, having evolved in a mostly warm,
> mostly moist, hardly seasonal climate; did not need to hibernate, but that
> some earlier and some later genera did need to hibernate).

Problems with hibernation as salvation for species.

1. Few mammals outside of severe winter areas hibernate.  Some mammals in
desert areas do.  Are you suggesting that most surviving mammals survived
by hibernating.  But many (most?) survivors were in tropical areas.  The
only kind of hibernating done there is done by bats.  These go into brief
(hours) periods of torpor.  They die if this period of torpor is extended.
Also, mammals which are forced into premature hibernation die if resources
have not been built up.

2. Some dinosaurs may have had the ability to "hibernate".  The male emu
goes without food and water for something like 60 days.  This may be a
strategy "for" egg secrecy, and as such, may have been practiced by some
of the smaller non-avian species.