Animals that Hibernate: With a tilt of the earth’s axis, it all changes from seasons to lifestyle. Once the sun rays hit the earth at the shallow angle, the winter season commences, bringing you some new fruits, flowers and concealing some friends which were once out there are now, nowhere to be seen. Yes, you guessed it right, the hibernating animals. Suddenly they vanish and you do not know where.
Today, welcome to the world of animals that hibernate. Here learn some mind-boggling facts that would leave you astounded.
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Strange Is Our World
Does it ever click to you what animals hibernate, why do animals hibernate and where do animals hibernate?
Our world is unique and so are its creatures. From animals to humans, all have some special characteristics. Similarly, these animals have a special way of surviving from the harshness of winter, they hibernate.
What Is Hibernation?
Webster dictionary defines it as a resting or torpid state to pass winter. Hibernation is actually a surviving technique of some animals as these are not meant for winter. This is an adaptation that helps animals keep their energy conserved by remaining immobile and inactive. They do so by keeping their metabolism slow, lower body temperature and surviving on the energy stored in their fat.
Further, these creatures eat a lot of food before hibernation, so that they can survive for longer periods. Undoubtedly, it is intelligent survival tactics. The list of hibernating animals include reptiles to mammals as well as birds. Go through it and get thrilled.
Animals that Hibernate: Mammals
Have you ever given a thought where these chipmunks disappear in the winter? Well, they hibernate like bats and woodchucks.
These are hibernators in the real sense as it drops its body temperature 60 degrees low and its beats to drop from 80 to four or five. Plus, this is listed to the cutest animals in the world.
Before the starting of winter it collects food and when the winter falls it goes into hibernation.
Bats – In a cave that is above freezing, these bats huddle together and stay for whole winter. Bats are interesting for so many reasons. Its heartbeat drops from 400 to 25 and its breathing slows down.
These cute little spiny mammals sleep whole winter making them the perfect hibernator with respect to others. Their heartbeat drops almost 90%. They also go for estivation i.e. hiding out in hot weather.
Animals that Hibernate: Torpors or Light Hibernators
Technically a torpor i.e. light hibernators, it is in sleep the only difference is that like true hibernators it can awake easily unlike others. They do not eat or drink for months till it is winter and they hardly urinate or defecate.
Skunks – They spent winter in their dens and go into light hibernation. They even come out to eat something occasionally. However, it’s quite tough to put the animal here with animals that hibernate, but due to these special activities it’s here.
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Don’t go on their names, in reality, these are rodents. It can hibernate too or could torpor depending upon the situation.
If you have a hamster as a pet then do not get alarmed if you find it immobile. It is not dead, it just gets into light hibernation during winter. Their duration of torpor is a week or a few days.
This member of a rodent family is short-lived and so its torpor is also short usually from morning to late afternoon.
Animals that Hibernate: Birds
These are the only birds that Hibernate in the true sense. Rest birds go into torpor mostly.
Amphibians and Reptiles
Hiding inside burrows or logs or rocks this amphibian hibernates during winter and they actually stop breathing, their heart beats stop and there is the formation of ice crystals in their bone.
These cold blooded animals hibernate individually as well as in groups depending upon the species. Solitary snakes make a hibernating mass while the others hibernate in dens together. Among all the snakes the last one to go in hibernation is a garter snake. Unlike Venomous Snakes and other snakes, it doesn’t wait for warm weather to come out instead it emerges in spring itself.
When it goes in deep sleep it drops the heart beat rate to one for every five to ten minutes and further it also stops breathing.
These cold blooded reptiles rely on heat from external sources. Hence for their survival in winter, it goes into hibernation. Mostly it hibernates alone.
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Animals that Hibernate: Bees and Wasps
Both of these species have the only queen as a survivor to hibernate in a safe and warm place like holes in the ground, leaf litter, etc. After hibernation, they start mating and make their own tunnels.
Now, you have got the answers to what animals, how they do and where the animals hibernate. Still, you need to understand one thing that hibernation is not easy for animals as it seems to be. In fact, it is quite risky, if before hibernation, the animal doesn’t store ample amount of fats then there is a low chance of survival. This hibernating animals list is just to inculcate curiosity among you so that you try to seek more information on it.