Do you know the group of mammals... | Almanac.com

Do you know the group of mammals...

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Do you know the group of mammals known as the “seven sleepers”?
Yes, they are the ones who hibernate in the winter. There are several variations as to the exact animals, however. One North American tradition includes raccoons, chipmunks, skunks, bears, bats, woodchucks, and jumping mice. Raccoons and skunks, however, aren’t true hibernators. They will wake up and wander around if the weather happens to warm. But, if you see any of these others on the list out for a stroll, you can assume spring is here, or nearly so.

In Europe, the jumping mouse may be replaced by the dormouse. The German word for one species, the edible dormouse (Siebenschläfer”), translates to “seven sleepers,” as these animals tend to hibernate for seven months (or more).

There is also an Irish tradition in which the seven sleepers are all birds.

The term “seven sleepers” can also refer to a medieval legend about seven youths in Ephesus.”