Look Out Men! Winter is Coming!

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Hormones activate ‘seasonal aggression switch’ in female hamsters, researchers find.

Obviously, this is a study that caught my attention.  But before I say… or you say good grief… read on.

A study from Indiana University claims that female hamsters are more aggressive in the wintertime, when the days are shorter.  The study says the wintertime aggression is triggered by sex hormones from the adrenal glands.

See hamster have a similar adrenal system to humans.

Melatonin acts directly on the adrenal glands in females to trigger a ‘seasonal aggression switch.’  Short winter days allow for a greater production of melatonin, a hormone that increases in the body during darkness and lowers in daylight.

The researchers say the study it help understand hormones and social behavior, especially focusing more on women.

The aggressive winter behavior may suggest an evolutionary advantage during times of food scarcity and lowered estrogen that happens with winter.

(sources:  Discover Magazine, IU Bloomington News, Science Blog)

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