While most people know about the Pikachu character from the famous Pokemon animated show, much fewer folks are well aware that the cute yellow battling mouse has a homologous in real life. Known by the name of “plateau pika” or “black-lipped pika”, we’re talking about a species of mammal from the pika family Ochotonidae. The creature is non-hibernating and diurnal, weighing only around 140 g when it’s fully grown.
While scientists are pretty sure that the plateau pika doesn’t give electrical shocks and neither does it live inside a Poke Ball as the famous Pikachu does in the anime, the little animal has a very peculiar way of surviving the winter. And after you find out its unusual and gross strategy, you may not still be willing to give it a big hug as you would do with that cute yellow mouse with red cheeks from Pokemon.
Asian pikas consume yak faeces for making it through the winter
According to Live Science, the pikas living in Asia at high altitudes prepare to survive the winter on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau by adding yak faeces on their menu. In that place, temperatures even reach minus 30 degrees Celsius.
Study first author John Speakman, who is a biology professor at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, declared for Live Science:
Lots of animals including rabbits and pika eat their own feces.
The scientist also added:
But eating the feces of other species is relatively rare.
Speakman along with his colleagues have monitored pikas for 13 years by filming them and implanting temperature-logging devices into their bodies. The new findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Plateau pikas are often compared to the Pikachu character due to similar physical characteristics. We cannot decide which one of the two “Pika” is cuter: the one from real life or the one from the animated show? Would you help us decide by leaving us a comment?