Groundhogs 101 with Mammalogist Rob Voss

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Every year on February 2, Americans turn to groundhogs to learn what the weather will be like.

This year, the best-known animal weather predictors are split. Punxsutawney Phil, America’s first furry forecaster, predicts another six weeks of winter. But right in the Museum’s backyard, Staten Island Chuck said spring was on its way.

 A Museum diorama shows a groundhog standing on its hind legs near a tree and looking out over a flowering field, with rows of crops in the distance.

©AMNH


Whichever prediction you put your faith in, you can learn more about groundhogs—also known as woodchucks or whistle pigs—in the Museum’s Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. This morning, Rob Voss, a curator in the Museum’s Department of Mammalogy and the Museum’s resident rodent expert, helped shed some light on these large ground squirrels.

Learn how groundhogs prepare for hibernation, how they came to be predictors of weather, and more in this conversation featuring the Museum’s groundhog diorama.