Do Squirrels Hibernate?

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Hibernation Theory in Squirrels

Before you know what a squirrel does, you need to know that why hibernation is a state of mind and each and every living being including us needs it at any moment. However, there is always a controversy regarding the hibernation mood of squirrels. Many of the zoologists have informed that squirrels are very small. Hence they do not have that much strength to load enough fat and hibernate for days.

Many other animal specialists have said that they do not tend to hibernate, but they do have a habit to sleep a lot. It has been researched and observed that squirrels do not hibernate at the time of winter. The grey squirrels, a popular species among rodents, are said to be active throughout the winter.

Climatic Changes in the Sleeping Habit of Squirrels

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Squirrels have a fascination toward their den of comfort. Due to the dry weather conditions, they feel cozy to stay at their homes, and when the weather is a bit comfortable, they leave their comfort zone and search for food.

Grey squirrels do not like to hibernate. Rather, they are active throughout the season. They have the capacity to store food within the little pockets and trees. It also helps in their sustenance.

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On the other hand, ground squirrels are a bit different in nature. They have a habit to hibernate for more than seven months. During the summer time, they consume food a lot and gain fat. After that, during the fall they burrow down and sleep for months. They open their eyes in every three weeks but again get back to the hibernation mode. So, the nature of the squirrels depends on from their type and the habitat they have.

During warm weather, they also try to adapt to the weather. This time of the year, they mainly come out at the early morning when the weather is a bit pleasant. During the daytime, they just lie in a cool place and take the nap. This main characteristic of squirrel is termed as ‘splattipng.’

Hibernation: Is it True in the Case of Rodents?

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According to National Wildlife Federation’s Brian Barnes, squirrels tend to hibernate when they fail to find out food for a long time. They use the stored food, and after then when the availability is just limited, they tend to hibernate to save themselves from hunger. He has also concluded by saying that ground squirrels are the perfect example of hibernating animals according to his studies. Also, rodent or ground squirrels have to wake up to urinate, which they cannot do while hibernating. But, other animals do not have such problems.

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The research also showed that when an animal hibernates, it is very difficult to wake them up. Rather, hibernation is a state of mind when the brain also does not remain active. The National Geographic Society informs that squirrels do not hibernate. As ground squirrels refer to rodents category, their hibernation will not be counted.

Therefore, the theory is itself a controversy and the judgment is even careful in this regard.