I would like to find an article or book that (in layman's prose, if possible) traces the evolution of hibernation.  I find this mechanism fascinating but I have been unable to find anything that explains its history and development.  Can anyone make a recommendation?

Thank You.

Hi Steve,

I can appreciate your dilemma - I just did a quick search and turned up a mass of children's books (which I'm guessing don't fit the bill). Amongst the scientific literature I couldn't find a review article that would fit the bill either.

I think the problem with this subject is that hibernation (and torpor, which is similar, but not quite the same thing) turns up in many different species and yet most biologists will limit their studies to a particular type of animal, rather than a particular adaptation. In other words there aren't any 'hibernationologists' out there.

If I had to make a recommendation then you might want to try "Hibernation and Torpor in Mammals and Birds" by Charles Lyman. Although I should say I haven't read it myself, but it looks like it may be aimed at the right level for you.

Of course you are always welcome to post specific questions on the subject as well!