The tradition started in Germany with badgers, but when it came to the U.S. in 1887 we started using groundhogs since badgers aren't native. Although it does turn out there is some science behind why we chose a groundhog! It just has nothing to do with its shadow. Groundhogs hibernate during the winter, but come out in early February to start looking for potential mates. Mating season isn't until March, so they typically go back into hibernation before then. If you're paying attention to Punxsutawney Phil, he's only been right about 30% of the time.
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Here's how groundhogs became the animal that predicted the weather pic.twitter.com/lX2BWkCceO— Business Insider (@businessinsider) February 1, 2018