Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Daily Hump: Hibernation in the Himalaya

According to Wikipedia
Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate.
This process most often occurs in animals during the winter months, thus it should be of little surprise that the English word comes from a verb meaning "to winter", the Latin hibenare.

The Latin form is from the Proto-Indo-European root *gheim- meaning "snow" or "winter". The Sanskrit hima, meaning "snow", is also from this PIE root and gives us the name of Earth's highest mountain range, the Himalaya, which literally translates to "abode of snow". As a point of trivia there are a few animals which hibernate in the Himalaya and thus doubly rely on the *gheim- root; these include the Himalayan marmot and both the brown and black bear.

hibernation [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Himalaya [Online Etmology Dictionary]

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:: posted by David, 9:00 AM


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