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Watson, Lyall - The hibernation of the ground squirrel Citellus Lateralis



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Lyall Watson - Supernature

[Kenneth Fisher of the University of Toronto] kept the ground squirrel Citellus Lateralis in a windowless room at a constant temperature of 0 degrees centigrade and gave them 12 hours of light each day. 

He found that they remained active and healthy....  until October; then their body temperature fell from 37 degrees centigrade to 1 degree centigrade and the squirrels went into their annual hibernation. 

And then despite the lack of any changes in light or heat, they all woke up in April, were active all the summer and went back into stupor the following autumn. 

In a second experiment, Fisher changed the temperature to a constant 35 degrees centigrade and found that this was warm enough to prevent the squirrels from becoming dormant, but they still gained weight in autumn and lost it slowly through the winter, just as though they were actually hibernating.

The source of the experience

Watson, Lyall

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Science Items

Activities and commonsteps