JAN 26, 2020 8:33 AM PST

The Life of an Arctic Squirrel

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

There is no overstating the fact that the Arctic Tundra is a cold and unforgiving place. There are few plants or animals that can survive in this extremely chilly territory, but the humble arctic squirrel has discovered a means of coping with the challenges.

So how does the arctic squirrel do it? With hibernation of course! This little critter hibernates for the full extent of the Winter season, a long and extensive eight-month slumber in which it barely breathes, and its heartrate slows to an absolute crawl. In fact, the arctic squirrel’s hibernation pattern is the longest and deepest of any other known animal on Earth.

When the Winter season comes to an end, the arctic squirrel’s internal body clock lets him know that it’s finally time to wake up. The creature emerges from its burrow for a quick look around, and he immediately begins marking his territory to keep rival males from stepping on his turf. A few days later, the females start to emerge from their burrows.

Female arctic squirrels are only fertile for a 12-hour period all year long, giving the male a limited window of opportunity to reproduce. After the male approaches the female, she accepts his love and they make their way into her burrow to do their thing.

It’s not until after this vital work is done that the male squirrel can go out in search of food.

Related: All squirrels love nuts, and some shamelessly steam them from others

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
APR 21, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 21, 2020
Male Silverback Gorilla Gets Rejected After Attempt to Impress Female
Silverback gorillas are somewhat renowned for their powerful arms and legs. In many cases, males use their brute strengt ...
MAY 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 12, 2020
It's Not a Choice - Cats Need Meat
While you or I might have the freedom of deciding between a carnivorous diet or going all out vegetarian, not all a ...
MAY 22, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
MAY 22, 2020
Some Coral Turn Neon When Stressed
Corals are immobile animals, and coral reefs are considered to be the most diverse ecosystems in the sea.
JUN 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
JUN 05, 2020
World Environment Day 2020 Celebrates Biodiversity
Today is World Environment Day, and this year’s theme is biodiversity. As defined by the United Nations (UN), biod ...
JUN 26, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
JUN 26, 2020
Sled Dogs & an Ancient Siberian Dog Have a Lot in Common Genetically
Dogs have held special significance in many people's lives for thousands of years. Dogs are thought to have been domesti ...
JUL 07, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUL 07, 2020
Anticancer Compound Found in Marine Bacteria
Bacteria live in symbiosis with many animals in the world. These tiny single-celled creatures often play crucial roles i ...
Loading Comments...