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Hibernation mystery

In winter, bears slow their metabolic rates far more than their body temperatures would predict

2:14pm, February 17, 2011

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Don’t judge a bear by its temperature, or so suggests first-of-its-kind data on hibernation physiology.

There’s something as-yet-unknown going on with black bear hibernation that slows metabolic rates more than lower body temperatures alone can explain, reports ecological physiologist Øivind Tøien of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

In the depths of Alaskan winters, closely monitored black bears dropped their temperatures only a modest 5.5 degrees Celsius on average, Tøien and

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