Science has given tired women everywhere their I-told-you-so-moment, and it comes courtesy of the hapless Arctic ground squirrel: The males of the species appear to spend most of their non-hibernating months soaking up the rays above ground while the females are kept busy either nursing their young below ground or foraging for food when above. "It is not clear what [the males] are doing while above ground," the Northern Arizona University biologists write in an article headlined "The secret life of ground squirrels" in the journal Royal Society Open Science. "The additional time spent above ground may be simply to loaf/bask in the sun."
The researchers set out to learn how these squirrels spend their energy from one season to the next given they hibernate from late fall through early spring, reports Quartz, which notes the squirrels "have a hefty to-do list: They have to eat to replenish energy stores lost to hibernation, store energy for next season, and mate." They equipped 30 females and 18 males with tiny photosensitive collars and accelerometers to track their movement and their time above and below ground. The team found that the females are about as active as males when below ground, largely nursing their young, but considerably more active than the males when above ground—foraging for enough food to cover their considerable energy expenditure, not to mention enough for their offspring. (This woman was hit with a $2 million bill after boyfriend started a fire burning fur off a squirrel.)