原版书书名：Mining the Social Web
The animal on the cover of Mining the Social Web is a groundhog (Marmota monax),
also known as a woodchuck (a name derived from the Algonquin name wuchak).
Groundhogs are famously associated with the US/Canadian holiday Groundhog Day,
held every February 2nd. Folklore holds that if the groundhog emerges from its burrow
that day and sees its shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks. Proponents say
that the rodents forecast accurately 75 to 90 percent of the time. Many cities host
famous groundhog weather prognosticators, including Punxsutawney Phil (of Punxsutawney,
PA and the 1993 Bill Murray film).
This legend perhaps originates from the fact that the groundhog is one of the few species
that enters true hibernation during the winter. Primarily herbivorous, groundhogs will
fatten up in the summer on vegetation, berries, nuts, insects, and the crops in human
gardens, causing many to consider them pests. They then dig a winter burrow, and
remain there from October to March (although they may emerge earlier in temperate
areas, or, presumably, if they will be the center of attention on their eponymous
The groundhog is the largest member of the squirrel family, around 16–26 inches long
and weighing 4–9 pounds. They are equipped with curved, thick claws ideal for digging,
and two coats of fur: a dense grey undercoat and a lighter colored topcoat of longer
hairs, which provides protection against the elements.
Groundhogs range throughout most of Canada and northern regions of the United
States, in places where open space and woodlands meet. They are capable of climbing
trees and swimming, but are usually found on the ground, not far from the burrows
they dig for sleeping, rearing their young, and protection from predators. These burrows
typically have two to five entrances, and up to 46 feet of tunnels.