9.03.2013

Tiny Tuesday! The arctic ground squirrel and his amazing anti-freeze blood.

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Roar of the Arctic Ground Squirrel

Hi hi, friends of Tiny Tuesday. Last week, I traveled the furthest north I've ever been. ALASKA. It was so beautiful that my polar skull cap melted. While traipsing around the arctic wilderness, I met this little buddy. He is an arctic ground squirrel, and he is more badass than you would assume at first glance. Like many warm-blooded creatures, he can dial down his core body temperature during hibernation. What makes him special is that his body temperature can drop to -2.9 degrees celsius, the lowest core body temperature ever recorded in a living mammal. During this time, his brain loses vital neural connections, but he has evolved to recuperate total brain function once he awakes from his winter sleep. And you know what else? His blood never freezes! He has supercooling blood, some kind of super hero power if you ask me. No wonder scientists are all up in his business, trying to cure Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Read more cool facts about him on Scientificamerican.com.

arctic friend
Arctic squirrel don't care. 

We met this arctic ground squirrel at the trail head of the Savage River hike in Denali National Park. That's him perched upon the rock. He sat up, locked eyes with me, and squeaked hello. I love you, tiny Wal-Mart greeter of the wild.

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