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Tortoises "hibernate", but a tortoise isn't endothermic

  1. Apr 29, 2015 #1
    In http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibernation, "hibernation" is defined as being restricted to endotherms.
    But lots of sites, such as http://www.anapsid.org/hibernation.html, claim that ectotherms can also hibernate: for example, tortoises.
    First: which definition is correct? If Wikipedia's definition is correct, what is a tortoise doing all those months?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2015 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  4. Apr 29, 2015 #3
    Thanks very much, Simon Bridge. The first article was very interesting not only in helping to answer my question but also in many other interesting facts; the second short article says that Wikipedia is technically right but is being pedantic.
     
  5. Apr 30, 2015 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    That's about right - specialists don't confuse the hibernation of bears with that of squirrels, but they would be more careful when they are describing a new animal or wanted to assert that a supposed case of hibernation was actually dormancy. Both versions of the long sleep are included in the common use of the term "hibernation", which is why you've seen conflicting descriptions. Academic papers will usually be more careful.
     
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