15 Fascinating Facts About Groundhogs | Care2 Causes

care2.com
15 Fascinating Facts About Groundhogs | Care2 Causes
5-6 minutes

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on February 1, 2017.

A lot of us probably don’t give much thought to groundhogs until February 2 rolls around each year, but here are some interesting facts to help you appreciate these unique critters.

According to Groundhog Day legend, their shadows can predict how much longer winter will last. No matter the outcome, it’s bad news the most famous groundhog, “Punxsutawney Phil.”

1. They’re called whistle pigs

Groundhogs are also called ground beavers, woodchucks and whistle pigs, thanks to the high-pitched warning sound they make. Incidentally, the name woodchuck has nothing to do with wood. It’s derived from the Native American word “wuchak,” which means “digger.”

2. They’re essentially giant squirrels

Groundhogs are rodents — marmots, specifically — that are very closely related to squirrels. ”They are giant ground squirrels is what they are,” Richard Thorington, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, told National Geographic.

3. They live in giant burrows with several “rooms”

Groundhogs build huge burrows for themselves that can be as long as 66 feet. These homes have multiple levels with several “rooms” and exits. “They have a burrow for hibernating, and then they have another section of the burrow that’s more like their summer home where they can come out more easily,” Stam Zervanos, a retired Pennsylvania State University biology professor, told National Geographic.

4. …including separate “bathrooms”

Just like our homes, the burrows have separate “bathrooms” in which groundhogs relieve themselves.

5. They may build multiple burrows.

It seems like a lot of work, but groundhogs may build more than one burrow. They can move around from burrow to burrow, but most stay in the same territories every year.

 

 

 

6. They’re climbers

Groundhogs can climb trees to escape from predators like dogs, wolves and coyotes.

7. They have good taste in food

Although they weigh less than 14 pounds, groundhogs can eat over a pound of vegetation every day. As for their diet, groundhogs are gourmets. “They’re selective,” Thorington told National Geographic. “They’ll go for your best cabbages and best foods that you have out there.”

8. Farmers aren’t major fans of groundhogs

Given the groundhog’s preferred diet, it’s no surprise that farmers aren’t the biggest fans of these critters. Not only do groundhogs eat the best of their crops, but tractors can also easily break an axle driving over their burrows.

9. Groundhogs are not social butterflies

Groundhogs prefer to be alone, and that includes moms. “The mother nurses the young, and then shortly after they’re weaned, they tend to go off on their own,” Thorington said, adding that groundhogs are “about as asocial as you can get.”

 

 

 

 

10. They greet each other with Eskimo kisses

According to Scientific American, one groundhog touches his or her nose to the mouth of the other groundhog.

11. Groundhogs hibernate from late fall until early spring

Males wake up early to check out their territory for a mate — “and there’s some competition for that territory,” Zervanos told National Geographic. “They try to defend that territory, and they go from burrow to burrow to find out if that female is still there.” Once a male finds a female he can mate with … nothing happens. He returns to his burrow and goes back to sleep for a month or so.

12. Their mating season lasts only 10 days

Groundhogs mate in early March. Thanks to their natural good timing, groundhogs are able to stop hibernating just in time to produce more groundhogs.

13. The Groundhog Day tradition originated in Europe

In Europe, other animals predicted how long winter would last. “When the Europeans came over here, they didn’t have any hedgehogs or badgers to lay the blame on, so I think the groundhog got it by being here and being a good size,” Thorington said.

14. Groundhog Day isn’t much fun for “Punxsutawney Phil”

Instead of being allowed to hibernate, the chosen groundhog is put on a display in a local library. On February 2, he’s subjected to a stressful parade and news conference.

15. A prior tragedy was fatal for a famous groundhog

During a 2014 Groundhog Day celebration in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped Chuck, a famous groundhog from the Staten Island Zoo. Chuck died from his injuries.

 

 

This seems like a really good reason to drop the use of live animals on Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania, New York and everywhere else, doesn’t it?

https://www.care2.com/causes/15-fascinating-facts-about-groundhogs.html

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Unknown Einstein letters discovered

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video from Canada says about itself:

Jos Uffink: Tatiana Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa & the foundations of thermodynamics

I will consider Afanassjewa’s work on the foundations of thermodynamics. In particular I consider her response to Caratkhédory’s (1909) axiomatization, her view on the definition of a “reversible process” in the context of Norton’s recent claim that this notion is paradoxical, her discussion of negative absolute temperatures, 30 years before Ramsey introduced this notion into statistical mechanics, her view on the question whether thermodynamics is a dynamical theory at all, and, if time permits, on the distinction between thermal contact and “pressure contact” (as mediated, say, by a piston) between thermodynamical systems.

Annual UWO Philosophy of Physics Conference Thermodynamics as a Resource Theory: Foundational and Philosophical Implications

June 20-22, 2018

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Three unknown letters by Albert Einstein have been found in the archive of Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden. The…

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Water Bird Die-off at Salton Sea

Natural History Wanderings

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News Release

Thousands of water birds died of an avian cholera outbreak at the south end of the Salton Sea between Jan. 8-17. Outbreaks like this one occur annually as a result of birds flocking closely together during migration.

On Jan. 8, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) began receiving reports of hundreds of dead birds at the south end of the Salton Sea from local waterfowl hunters and staff at the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge (SBNWR). CDFW investigated the event and discovered over a thousand bird carcasses concentrated around Bruchard Bay west of the New River. Over the next week, staff from CDFW and SBNWR collected more than 1,200 carcasses consisting of mainly Ruddy Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Black-necked Stilts and Gulls. Most carcasses were incinerated at SBNWR to reduce the spread of disease; however, several samples were shipped to the…

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Our American Wall @POTUS @realDonaldTrump it’s yours and ours.It’s America’s.

Trump:The American Years

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I don’t think even President Trump realizes what this wall-the one we envision-means to us.You have to know that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats understand that it’s the one thing that MIGHT destroy the Presidents base. They want that more than anything.For them stopping the wall is a win-win.They get amnesty and win the election in 2020.You…

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New Upcoming Twitter Campaign: #WhyIDitchedDairy

The Paw Report

Let’s spread the word about why we ditched dairy with the hashtag #WhyIDitchedDairy.

It’s Februdairy, which is when activists take over the hashtag to spread information about the dairy industry. I was researching hashtag trends in the hopes that we could get Februdairy to trend. I started to realize that it’s unlikely to get that hashtag trending, but wouldn’t it be great if we got something else to trend? I thought of #WhyIDitchedDairy, and my close friends thought it would be a good idea. I like the hashtag because it starts a conversation. And if we have people engaged in conversation, then our reach will be greater. Also, the hashtag seems to have never been used before. One reason why I think #Februdairy won’t become a trending topic is because we’ve all tweeted with the hashtag before, and Twitter looks at the audience (new or not?) for its algorithm.

The…

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(HIDALGO, Texas.) Discovery of a 60-foot tunnel still under construction being built near the Rio Grande River leading toward Mexico County Water Improvement District 3 told the local station #AceNewsDesk reports

Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – Feb.02: Authorities found the tunnel, which was still under construction, in Hidalgo, Texas, a local CNN affiliate reported Friday: “You’ve seen them on the news in Arizona and New Mexico and stuff like that, but I’ve never seen one in the Valley,” Orthal Brand Jr., who is president of the Hidalgo County Water Improvement District 3, told the local station. “That’s the first one I’ve seen that’s in our back yard.”#AceNewsDesk reports

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Picture Via Rio Grande Guardian

The Hill reports Brand said he has used his agency’s resources to aid federal authorities in the past, but he told the station that getting rid of the tunnel won’t be easy: The tunnel is reportedly hidden near the bottom of a 30-foot embankment and is very difficult to see.

“It’s hard for me to put a piece of equipment on the edge of a 30-foot sand cliff, and reach…

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(TEXAS, Ariz.) Illegal Immigrant Mexican national Marvin Yovani Mejia Ramos With Multiple Child Sex Convictions Arrested on US-Mexico Border: The man has served a total of 22 years in US prisons for abusing children: This is why U.S citizens need to have a wall #AceNewsDesk reports

Money well spent…instead of sending it to a foreign country to pay for abortions like Nancy Pelosi intends to do!!

Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – Feb.02: A man who has already served multiple prison sentences in the US for child sex offenses was arrested during an early morning traffic stop in Texas on Wednesday, Fox News reports: Fifty-year-old Mexican national Marvin Yovani Mejia Ramos, sporting a moustache that would make Danny Trejo cry, was arrested after a fingerprint scan revealed he had provided a fake identity: The scan further revealed that Ramos had a lengthy record of legal offences. According to the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, he served eight years in California for continuous sexual assault of a child, and later he served six years for perjury, six years for sexual assault of a child and two years for lewd acts with a minor under the age of 14 in Los Angeles #AceNewsDesk reports

Ramos was twice deported to Mexico — first in 2013, and then again in 2015, the Houston…

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Please Sign: Take the Pledge | Dolphin Project

dolphinproject.com
Take the Pledge | Dolphin Project
2 minutes
Take The Pledge To NOT Buy A Ticket To A Dolphin Show
Target: Sponsors of Captive Dolphins Shows & Politicians

Dolphins have evolved over millions of years, adapting perfectly to life in the ocean. They are intelligent, social and self-aware, exhibiting evidence of a highly developed emotional sense.

Join us and pledge that you won’t buy a ticket to a dolphin show. It’s 2 easy steps:

  1. Sign the Pledge below
  2. On the top of the next page, Share the Pledge on your social media to complete the process.

Petition by Ric O’Barry

To: Sponsors of Captive Dolphins Shows & Politicians
From: [Your Name]

I have taken the pledge NOT to buy a ticket to a dolphin show.

No Dolphin Parks.
No Swim With Dolphin Programs.
No Hotels and Lodges that feature captive dolphins on the property.
No Dolphin “Trainer For A Day” programs.
No Dolphin “Research” facilities that charge to interact with dolphins.
No Cruise lines that feature stops at Swim With Dolphin Parks.

#ThanksButNoTanks

https://www.dolphinproject.com/take-action/take-the-pledge-not-to-buy-a-ticket-to-a-dolphin-show/
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Dolphin Project 🐬 Protest🐬

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Come on out and create a noise like no other!

Event information location Scottsdale Arizona…

buff.ly/2WmXqXe#DolphinProject #ThanksButNoTanks