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Name: Shelli G.
Status: educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1/19/2004


Question:
I know that gophers do not hibernate in the winter. How do they survive during the winter months? Do their heart rate and body temperature go down?


Replies:
Gophers and moles, with which they are sometimes confused, are well protected in underground burrows in the winter. Gophers store food in caches, and since most of their food is roots, food may still be available in winter. I don't have specifics on gopher their physiology but most mammals that do not hibernate maintain normal heart rate and body temperature in winter. Interestingly, ground squirrels, which live in burrows but feed mostly above ground, do hibernate.

J. Elliott


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