Fun Facts About Groundhogs!
1. Groundhogs are one of few animals who truly hibernate.
When a groundhog commits to something, he commits. In the spring and summer, he commits to eating – a lot of eating! In fact, he eats so much that he gains enough fat to sustain him through the winter.
In the fall and winter, that same groundhog commits to hibernating. All of that fat helps to maintain his body while he’s sleeping. His heart rate also drops quickly to conserve energy and only beats about 5 times per minute.
2. Groundhogs are part of the squirrel family.
Although you might not associate groundhogs with anything other than their underground burrows, they’re actually quite adept at climbing trees and swimming.
They’re the largest member of the squirrel family and typically weigh about 13 pounds. From their head to their tail, they can be up to 34 inches long!
3. They give birth to a litter.
In the spring, groundhogs not only awaken from slumber, but the females give birth to litters of newborns. There are usually between 4-6 little groundpiggies in a litter and they’re under their mother’s watchful care for about 3 to 4 months.
4. Groundhogs have many names.
If you’ve ever seen a groundhog sit up to nibble on food or survey his domain, you know that he looks a bit like a little bear. So, it’s no surprise that one of the names he goes by is Mouse Bear.
Groundhogs are also referred to as Woodchucks depending on where you live. And, if you’re from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, you probably just call the groundhog Phil.
5. Groundhogs were thought to predict the weather.
The legend in Europe was that badgers and hedgehogs could predict the weather, but when the settlers made their home in Western Pennsylvania, they couldn’t find any.
They thought that the groundhog was a close enough match and decided to use him instead. So, in 1886, the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper published the first report of a groundhog not seeing his shadow which meant there would be an early spring.
From then on, Groundhog Day became a yearly tradition and is held on the second day of February each year. One of the biggest celebrations in the US is in Punxsutawney, PA where the furry, weather prognosticator, Phil, makes his appearance and predicts the early or later arrival of Spring.
AweFilled BookNooks Recommended Reading!
In celebration of all things groundhog, I asked a few friends to help me. So I am sharing some of their amazing posts! Just click the green hyperlink below and enjoy.
- Ground Hog Pudding Cups: A Simple Girl At Home
- Ground Hog Paper Bag: Kidthings.net
- Ground Hog Pudding Cup: LifeIsaLullaby
- Ground Hog Mask: IHeartCraftyThings
- Ground Hog Day Cupcakes: Bakerella.com
- Ground Hog Day Videos: Simplykinder.com
- Ground Hog Day Cupcake Liner Craft: IHeartCraftyThings
- Ground Hog Day Craft: OwlsandOwlsofun
- Healthy ground Hogs Day Treat: Preschoolpowolpackets
- Ground Hog Day Drawing: ProudToBePrimary
- Toilet Roll Craft: CraftyMorning.com
- Ground Hog day Coloring Pages: MadeByTeachers.com
- Ground Hog Fun: Preschool Alphabet
- Ground Hog Day Finger Puppet: RustandShine
- Ground Hog Matching Game: Totschooling.net
- Mini Puzzle: MotherhoodOneADime
- Paper Plate Craft: CraftyMorning
- Ground Hog Day Activity: Lizard n Lady Bug
- Puzzle and Activity: Intoxicated On Life