Smoke signals

Burnt remains after a bushfire can send some little marsupials to sleep (for their own good).

Auscape / UIG / Getty Images

After a bushfire, small Australian marsupials such as antechinus (above) can have a hard time surviving the aftermath.

Some resort to energy saving strategies, such as torpor, to survive. Now, it turns out that exposure to charcoal and ash left behind after an inferno is enough to trigger energy-conserving torpor in the survivors of a blaze.

Biologists in Australia reported their findings in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

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