Photo 2a:    A woodchuck (groundhog) eats a lot right now to fatten up for its hibernation*. A hibernating woodchuck's body temperature may go down to 38 degrees F (3.3  oC) from a normal temp of 100 (37.8 oC)!*  We happened to spot this guy on the trail of the Eloise Butler Wildflower & Bird Sanctuary, Minneapolis, MN, while Crystal+, a naturalist, was leading her wildflower tour. To our surprise, this guy stood on his hind legs for five minutes or so until we got closer to him. We became curious about this standing behavior so we checked out web pages on woodchucks. Yes, we've just found one web site** describing woodchuck's defensive habits; as one of the habits, groundhogs often stand on hind legs to check for trouble. It sounds like prairie dogs. So we've learned that groundhogs are very good at standing. This woodchuck looks so COOL!  FYI: This woodchuck's body length was around 60 cm. This pic was taken at the Sanctuary on September 17, 2006. 
Groundhogs at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Photo:  1  Groundhog Wakes  |  2a / 2b (Up-Close)  Groundhog Eats
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* Comments from Julie, a naturalist (volunteer at Arboretum).  "Julie, Thanks so much for your comments."
**
< http://www.lakesidenaturecenter.org/AC_Woodchuck.html >
More info on Woodchucks: <
http://www.havahart.com/nuisance/groundhogs/groundhog_facts.asp >
+ "Crystal, it's very kind of you to let us take pix of this woodchuck for quite a long time. Thanks."

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