Punxsutawney Phil may be leaving his den to “predict” the weather, but his fellow groundhogs head outside at this time of year for a different purpose – speed dating! Scientists that tracked groundhogs for several years found that after about three months of hibernation, male groundhogs wake up in February to take stock of the available females in their territory. A male visits and spends the night with two or three females, getting to know each of them by rubbing noses. He then heads back to his own den, where he snoozes away until March mating season comes around.
More fun groundhog facts:
-Groundhogs are part of the squirrel family – they are also known as “woodchucks” and “whistle-pigs.” -Groundhogs are “true hibernators.” While hibernating, a groundhog’s body temperature drops to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit and its heartbeat drops to about four beats per minute! -Groundhog burrows are elaborate. They can be 20 to 30 feet long and include a nest, nursery, toilet chamber and spy-holes. -How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? One wildlife biologist estimated that if the typical groundhog’s burrow was filled with wood instead of dirt, the animal would have “chucked” about 700 pounds!
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake rattled Turkey’s Aegean coast and several Greek islands, killing two and injuring over 100 others early Friday morning.
Following Thursday’s violent thunderstorms, an unsettled stretch of weather will plague those with outdoor plans across Germany from this weekend to early next week.
Japanese researchers have successfully tested a new way to protect spacecraft from the intense heat of atmospheric re-entry by employing a technique featured in one of Japan's most popular science fiction series.
Cooler air will sweep from northwest to southeast across part of the central and eastern United States by early next week and will trim the extent of the heat wave.
Following a week with very few weather impacts, rain and thunderstorms could play a major factor in Friday's Tour de France stage.
The weather will once again create challenging conditions for players at the Open Championship in England.
A sudden downpour is being blamed for six deaths in northern India on Thursday, while a monsoon low continues to bring a heightened flood risk to central areas into this weekend.
During the long summer days when children are permitted to stay up later and sleep in longer, their school-year sleeping patterns might be thrown out of whack.