Which animals hibernate?

Some animals in winter fall into a hibernation, waiting for warmer days and an easier source of food. This is accompanied by a temporary slowdown in life processes and changes in the functioning of the endocrine glands. Everyone practically knows that bears are one of these species. What other animals, besides bears, fall into hibernation?

Bumblebees

Bumblebees have a very interesting and strategic life cycle. Some of them fall into hibernation, while others simply die. When warmer days come, bumblebee queens wake up and come out of their burrows dug in the ground. They then lay eggs. New queens mate with males, and when winter comes they go into hibernation to start the whole cycle again in the spring. Old queens, workers, and males die with the onset of winter. The hibernation period for bumblebees can last up to nine months. What other animals fall into hibernation?

Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs prepare for winter hibernation called torpor. They spend it in forest shelters. Their secret weapon is body temperature. During torpor, hedgehogs lower their body temperature to match the ambient temperature. Interestingly, hedgehogs can move during winter, but in a very limited way. Hedgehogs’ torpor lasts about seven months.

Groundhogs

When thinking about which animal goes into hibernation, not everyone immediately thinks of groundhogs. Groundhogs spend their winter hibernation in their burrows for almost half a year, until April or early May. During hibernation, they mainly sleep and can lower their body temperature from about 36 degrees to as low as 3.4 degrees Celsius (source).

Moths

Moths have a short lifespan and often do not survive the winter. However, if they do not perish before the colder days come, adult individuals enter a period of hibernation (inactivity). Interestingly, larvae laid before winter do not hatch until their source of food, such as flower nectar, is replenished.

There are, of course, other animals not mentioned on our list that hibernate, such as prairie dogs, badgers, raccoons, squirrels, and hamsters. We encourage you to expand your knowledge on other websites and in various scientific publications dedicated to animals and their behavior during winter.

Do deer hibernate?

Often, when naming animals that hibernate, the question of deer arises. Well, deer do not hibernate. They change their fur to a denser one, which makes them somewhat more resistant to the cold. During severe winters, humans usually help deer survive by feeding them.


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