Garden dormouse in Spain

garden dormouse: lirón careto: Eliomys quercinus

Not threatened, but may be locally endangered. Like squirrels and foxes, dormice in Spain tend to be larger in the south than the north in contradiction of Bergman’s rule. The length of hibernation varies in function of climatic conditions: dormice in León sleep for as long eight months, while in Doñana they nod off for a few days at most.

The common Spanish expression dormir como un lirón (sleep like a log) is a testament to this trait. Interestingly, dormice in the south of Spain, also undergo estivation, a state of animal dormancy similar to a mild form of hibernation, during the hottest days of the year.

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