Coolest, Cutest Squirrel Award: Arctic Squirrels

(Arctic Ground Squirrel, originally uploaded by Zman69.)

This adorable little critter, shown here begging for a hand-out in Alaska, is the Arctic Ground Squirrel.

In the winter, these little guys go into hibernation, and their body temperatures drop to an unbelievable 26.4 F, according to the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game.

That, my friends, is the lowest known temperature of any mammal. Most mammals would be frozen. Scientists are apparently clueless as to how these fuzzy guys do it. Although one big clue is that they practically double their body weight come late fall.

One thought on “Coolest, Cutest Squirrel Award: Arctic Squirrels

  1. Apparently, “the ground squirrel is able to do this because before hibernation it goes through a sort of internal purification that gets rid of any particle that might seed the freezing process. Liquids require such a particle (sometimes called a nucleus) in order to freeze. By purging itself the squirrel avoids becoming an ice cube, even if the temperature drops below freezing.”

    http://encarta.msn.com/column_groundhogday_tamimhome/the_secret_truth_behind_groundhog_day.html

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