This animal has many different names. One name is a
woodchuck. Other names are groundhog, whistling pigs, or
marmot. Even though there are so many different names, they
all mean the same animal. It is a member of the squirrel
Photo Courtesy of Leonard
Before they go into hibernation, they will eat a lot and get very
fat. They do this so that they can last through the whole winter
without coming outside. They hibernate in burrows. These
animals hibernate in family
groups. They close up the
entrance to their burrows with stones, clay, and feces.
They sleep and wake many times through winter.
They live on body fat and donít store food in their burrows.
Males come out of the burrow first.
This animal's body temperature is about 6-9 degrees above
freezing when it hibernates. The heart rate slows down to 4-5 times
in a minute. This is normal for them. Groundhogs sleep very
deeply during hibernation. They are sleeping so deeply that if you
try to wake one up, it will probably just lay there. Its body will
be cold to the touch and rough handling wonít wake it.
The groundhog's body has rough fur, short and bushy tail,
very small ears, tiny and short feet, and strong nails. They have a
sharp whistle that tells other animals when an enemy is near.
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