Factoid #3

You know what hibernation is, right? Bears and other furry critters in cold climates all do it: eat a lot in the fall to put on fat, then bed down in their cozy dens and sleep through the winter. Their brains fall into something deeper than normal sleep, their heartrates and breathing slow WAY down, and they’re able to conserve energy and survive the harsh winter without a fuss.

There is only one kind of primate that hibernates. Primates–apes, monkeys, and good ol’ us–have much more complex brains, which everyone thought needed too constant a supply of energy to ever be able to shut down for a season like that. But turns out there is one that can: it’s called the Fat-Tailed Lemur and it lives in Madagascar (where all lemurs live).

I am not making this up. I know this because my father is a research zoologist, and he is studying them.

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