Activity : Badgers are primarily nocturnal (with some crepuscular tendencies) because their prey (earthworms throughout most of their range) only comes to the surface at night to breed. Generally, here in the UK, badgers emerge from their setts before dusk between May and August and after dark for the rest of the year; they are also less active from November to February – they tend to remain at the sett for about an hour before moving away to forage. Although badgers do not hibernate (see Q/A ), in some parts of their range they may enter states of torpor during very cold or snowy periods – during torpor, the badgers will remain in the sett (often for several weeks) and metabolise fat reserves accumulated during the summer and autumn. There is usually a marked decrease in a badger's body temperature during the winter and early spring, with the body temperature between 2 deg-C and 9 deg-C ( – deg-F) lower from November to April than during the late spring. This decrease in body temperature allows for greater economy of fat reserves at a time when food is typically scarce or buried under snow. Indeed, this probably explains why studies have found that breeding sows may have three times the drop in body temperature of non-breeding individuals. In the American badger ( Taxidea taxus ), the same 9oC slump in body temperature is accompanied by a pronounced decrease (sometimes of more than 50%) in heart rate. During periods of exceptionally cold weather, badgers will often use a latrine inside the sett, rather than venturing outside. While activity is sporadic and unpredictable through the winter months, badgers may be seen out foraging during the winter, even in the snow! Post-winter emergence is generally late-February or early March and by mid-summer, badgers often spend time away from the sett during the day, even sleeping out in deep bedding piles. In more remote locations, cubs may be seen playing outside during daylight.
Received 14 December, 2010; accepted in revised form 25 April, 2012
Abstract: A three-field finite element scheme designed for solving systems of partial dif-
ferential equations governing stationary viscoelastic flows is studied. It is based on the
simulation of a time-dependent behavior. Once a classical time-discretization is performed,
the resulting three-field system of equations allows for a stable approximation of velocity,
pressure and extra stress tensor, by means of continuous piecewise linear finite elements, in
both two and three dimension space. This is proved to hold for the linearized form of the
system. An advantage of the new formulation is the fact that it implicitly provides an algo-
rithm for the iterative resolution of system non-linearities. Convergence in an appropriate
sense applying to these three flow fields is demonstrated.
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