The Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders is delirious with glee at the sight of this little dormouse, fast asleep and snoring contentedly, still half curled in a ball, tiny paws clutched against his chest. It’s pretty clear there’s no more work happening today. Dormice are known for undergoing extended periods of hibernation, six months a year or longer if the weather doesn’t warm up sufficiently. They’ll sometimes wake briefly to eat food they’d previously stored nearby, but most of their eating is done during summer when they fatten themselves up enough to nourish their bodies throughout the next hibernation period.
"For context, this dormouse was found in torpor (a state of not being active and having very little energy) by conservationists, sleeping in a nesting box they had provided. He was only very briefly removed as part of a monitoring project to be checked and weighed to ensure he had enough fat reserves to slumber on through until spring. He was in the hands of a licensed expert and judged to be in good health.”
Here’s hoping the conservationists read the little dormouse a bedtime story before putting him back inside his cozy nesting box, where we like to imagine he has an itty-bitty bed complete with a very comfy blanket, plenty of pillows, and an even tinier teddy bear.
[via Twisted Sifter]