Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur Is The Only Primate That Can Hibernate

 image by Petra Lahann
image by Petra Lahann

Did you know that the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur is the only primate that can? Here is an article from National Geographic based on a recent study published in PLoS ONE.

Because lemurs are genetically very similar to humans, these animals may one day teach us how to hibernate, opening up new possibilities for space travel, modern medicine, and warfare.  “We’ve always known that fat-tailed dwarf [lemurs] are pretty incredible,” said Chris Smith, a conservationist at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Hibernation Could Extend Life

Hibernation immediately conjures up images of bears slumbering in caves. But hibernation doesn’t necessarily mean sleep. In fact, hibernation simply refers to the seasonal bodily changes that occur in some animals—slower heart rates, decreased oxygen intake, and a reduced ability to regulate body temperature. The entire process is extraordinary from a biological point of view. If humans could do it, the practical applications would be limitless.



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