Lovely photo of Lemming skeleton

Lemming Hard Times

This intensely beautiful photo, credited E. Leslie, accompanies a Science News article about how climate change has been negatively impacting the population of Norway lemmings. From Science News:
Norway lemmings, Lemmus lemmus, are about half the size of a guinea pig and live in nests beneath the snow during the winter months. When the snowpack is light and fluffy, warmth from the ground melts small spaces under the snow that the lemmings use to forage for sedges, grasses and mosses without being exposed to predators. But in recent years, warmer winter temperatures have rendered the snow less fluffy. That, in turn, has made the snow more likely to melt and refreeze at ground level, coating the ground with ice and making life more difficult for lemmings.
Climate Change Stifling Lemmings



  1. Oh, nonsense. Someone just forgot to get another lemming build a little bridge for him, than then give him a little umbrella. Blow them all up and restart the level.

  2. I laughed pretty loud at that one ALISONG. I played that game so much when I was a kid, and looking back on it, I often would crowd as many of them as I could in one place and blow ’em to smithereens.

    Much like those digital lemmings, this guy seems to be a victim of that human love for destroying things.

  3. LOL, urshrew, my brother and I used to do the same – it was especially fun to squeeze 100 into the space one would normally occupy. All those little “Oh noes!” used to crack me up.

  4. ALISONG ftw..
    I had forgotten that lemmings were actual animals that didn’t wear shirt-dresses and have tufts of green hair.

  5. Although climate change isn’t something to joke about, my first thought upon seeing this photo and the accompanying story was:

    Oh no!

  6. I’d be checking any near cliff-faces with a Disney film crew hurling the poor things down.

    A beautiful image, if not a bit sad. Still giving me urges to play Lemmings, mind.

  7. It reminds me of a short story I read in middle school about a poor dog that was buried at Pompeii. There was a picture that went with the story and it looked a lot like this.

    But I do like the crack about clutching the SUV keys. Classic.

  8. The photographer is Erika Leslie. She has taken many photos of living lemmings as well as this little one. She works at the University of Oslo’s field station at Finse, Norway where she has studied the lemmings. She is a very gifted photographer!

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