Everything You Wanted To Know About Hibernation (Infographic)

Posted on Nov 2 2013 - 11:46am by Alexandra Ashton

Squirrels, bats, wild rats or hedgehogs… These are just some animals that hibernate throughout the cold season, saving energy during the winter, when food is really scarce. The true phenomenon of hibernation only happens with animals that have a constant body temperature and live in cold regions.

When hibernating, the animal appears to be dead, but that is actually the manifestation of a huge activity reduction: the temperature drops, the breathing almost ceases and the heart beats so slowly it’s almost imperceptible. Their state of inactivity is so deep that some animals don’t awake even if they are shaken for some reason. Nevertheless, unlike what most people think, hibernation is not an exclusive “technique” adopted by mammals or furry animals.

Even birds or fishes enter into a lethargy mode to survive the cold season. The animals only abandon their very long nap – in some cases, it lasts more than six months – when spring comes and the temperature begins to rise. However, there are so many fun facts about hibernation that we must enjoy them while it’s time!

Did you know, for instance, that a black bear can gain up to 30 pounds per week during its pre-hibernation eating binge? Or that the Antarctic cod reduces its activities by 20 times during the cold season? Or even that some female bears can even have babies during hibernation?

This period in the animals’ lives is truly an amazing phenomenon worthy of your attention, so come with us on a journey through the world of the sleepy species, from the ones that fly to the ones that hide in trees. Discover why some frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, fish and even snails or shrimp hibernate or are dormant during the winter.

Maybe you’ll understand why your new turtle has been acting all weird since the cold started…


Credit: Giraffe.ie

About the Author

Alexandra Ashton, Communications at Neomam Studios , the UK based Infographic Agency. Alexandra is a content and design enthusiast with a keen eye for detail.