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Latest Torpor Stories

Wintertime Survival For Siberian Hamsters Depends On Summertime Cholesterol Consumption
2014-06-11 03:54:52

University of Chicago Press Journals Increasingly, scientific findings indicate that an organism's diet affects more than just general health and body condition. In an article published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, researchers from Nicolaus Copernicus University have found evidence that the diet of some animals must include cholesterol in order for them to enter necessary periods of energy conservation known as torpor. Torpor is a...

How Dormice Make Optimal Use Of Their Body Fat Reserves
2013-10-22 14:05:32

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna Edible dormice store considerable amounts of fat in summer. Their fat reserves are necessary for them to survive a long hibernation – on average 8 months – in underground cavities. But how do hibernators allocate surplus body fat reserves to optimize survival? Researchers at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, have found that animals with larger fat reserves prefer boosting their...

Lemur Offers Insights Into Sleep Purpose
2013-09-05 10:49:33

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online By studying a tiny primate that is a distant relative of humans, researchers at Duke University said they are gaining new insights into the purpose of sleep. According to the researchers’ report published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, observations of the fat-tailed dwarf lemur during its sleep and hibernation cycles indicate that sleep has a function in the regulation of body temperature and metabolism. Lead study author...

2011-12-16 14:02:58

Although the temperate climates of central Europe provide plentiful food in summer, finding enough to eat is much more problematic in winter. Many small mammals avoid the problem by hibernating but this survival strategy is generally not practiced by larger animals. With the exception of some bears, large mammals remain fully awake throughout the year, yet they too must reduce their metabolism to cope with the comparative scarcity of food. Red deer, for example, are known to lower their heart...

2011-07-27 13:35:52

Discovery puts scientists closer to human application Hibernation is an essential survival strategy for some animals and scientists have long thought it could also hold promise for human survival. But how hibernation works is largely unknown. Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have successfully induced hibernation at will, showing how the process is initiated. Their research is published in the July 26 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. A hibernating animal has a reduced...

2010-02-11 10:46:33

New study shows wild female bats' temperature regulation strategy is flexible In order to regulate their body temperature as efficiently as possible, wild female bats switch between two strategies depending on both the ambient temperature and their reproductive status. During pregnancy and lactation, they profit energetically from clustering when temperatures drop. Once they have finished lactating, they use torpor* to a greater extent, to slow their metabolic rate and drop their body...

2009-08-20 14:20:00

Analysis shows snoozing is a strategy to increase efficiency, minimize riskBats, birds, box turtles, humans and many other animals share at least one thing in common: They sleep. Humans, in fact, spend roughly one-third of their lives asleep, but sleep researchers still don't know why.According to the journal Science, the function of sleep is one of the 125 greatest unsolved mysteries in science. Theories range from brain "maintenance" "” including memory consolidation and pruning...

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2009-06-29 10:33:22

A team of researchers has discovered that animals that sleep longer store energy for a long duration of time, something scientists believe could be useful the treatment of obesity and other disorders. In an effort to conserve energy when resources are scarce, some species of animals, like the burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata), go through a period of torpor. These frogs can survive for several years buried in the mud without any food or water. They are able to survive such extended...

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2006-12-19 14:20:00

A fascinating new study in the January/February 2007 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology looks at the benefits of huddling vs. solitude, comparing strategies used by striped skunks to get through long, cold winters in northern climates. While most male skunks den underground alone during the winter, a group of female skunks will often snuggle together with one male in communal dens. Yeen Ten Hwang (University of Western Ontario) and coauthors found that skunks that choose to go it...

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2006-04-07 06:05:00

The discovery of a possible hibernation hormone in the brain may unlock the mystery behind the dormant state, researchers reported in the April 7, 2006 issue of Cell. Hibernation allows animals from bears to rodents to survive unscathed -- in a state of suspended animation -- under the harshest of winter conditions. If the findings in chipmunks are confirmed, the hormone would represent the first essential brain signal governing the seasonal adaptation, according to the researchers. As...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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