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Another name for the woodchuck (see Sciuridae). In the USA, ‘Groundhog Day’ (2 February) is popularly supposed to be the day the groundhog emerges from his hole. If he sees his shadow he considers this an omen of more bad weather and returns to his hole for a further six weeks; if he sees no shadow (the day is cloudy) he assumes spring is arriving and remains above ground.

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