Neatest fact about Spermophilus armatus (Uinta ground squirrels)? These remarkable little squirrels hibernate for about 8 months a year, sleeping all the way from August until March/April! And not only do they hibernate for that long, but also they go into a period of estivation, or summer dormancy, starting in July–meaning these funny little squirrels are only active above ground for about three months of the year.
Uinta ground squirrels only live in southwestern Montana, western Wyoming, southeastern Idaho, and north central Utah, according to the fabulous Animal Diversity website through the University of Michigan.
I took these photos at the beginning of April when there was still plenty of snow on the ground and the ground squirrels looked a bit wary about waking up.
What did the squirrel say to the chipmunk?
(that joke courtesy of the grad student dining hall whiteboard, May 2014)