Many is that they hibernate as a

Many animals hibernate for many
different reasons. The single binding factor on all of them is that they
hibernate as a response to adverse conditions. This could be cold, heat or lack
of food. Size is also not a factor. Big animals like the Bear are featured,
small ones like the squirrel, long ones like the snake, shelled ones like the
snail, water animals like the Turtles, and even insects like the Bee are well
represented. Here are 10 hibernating animals that I profiled for you.

 

 

 

Bears

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One of the most popular hibernating
animals around is the Bear. They can be found everywhere, from the cold arctic
regions to the mountains, to swampy areas. Many people have watched
documentaries of the bear going into hibernation, but unlike some other
animals, the bear goes into a light form of hibernation that is called Torpor
instead of the long extended form.Torpor is a relatively long sleep that
the bears go into to conserve energy; they can be easily woken up from the
Torpor. This is because of the small drop in temperature that their body
undergoes which means their body can easily warm up in response to danger. They
are also restless when they wake up for the brief time as their body system is
recovering from an almost shut down. This is because, during the hibernation,
their oxygen supply and metabolism rate drops drastically by nearly 75%.

Bears drop their breathing rate from one
breath in 6-10 seconds to one breath in 45 seconds, with their heart rate also
dropping from 40-50 beats per minute to a quite low 8-18 beat per minute.The bear is also one of the biggest
animals that go into hibernation. The bear is a mammal. Bears go into their
Torpor because of a change in weather during the winter months if they stay in
cold areas. Before winter, a bear looks for an appropriate place to stay during
the cold months. When they find this haven, they gorge huge amount of food and
store it as fat in their body.Some bears can go as long as six months
without eating or drinking during this period, and they rarely urinate or
defecate. During this Torpor, the Bear sleeps while the fat is utilised as food
to keep it going. Unlike other smaller hibernators, the body temperature of the
Bear drops by about 6°c.Another thing to wow you about the
Torpor period of the Beer is that female Bears give birth to and nurse their
babies during this period. Snails

Though
the Bear is one of the popular “hibernators”, the Snail is one of the best. It
undergoes True hibernation or Estivation. Many species of snail hibernate
during winter, some extending it for longer. The average duration of a snail’s
hibernation is from October to April 

Snails can live up to 7 years in the
wild and as much as 25 in a protective housing. It is because of this that they
have to hibernate frequently. Snails hibernate by protecting their bodies under
a thin layer of mucus and slime that they produce themselves. They survive by
the metabolism of stored Fat in their bodies. The metabolism keeps them
hydrated.

After covering themselves with the mucus
layer, they bury themselves and then close off the entrance of their shell with
mucus. The shell covering layer then hardens and becomes like a tough skin. The
skin prevents predators from attacking them while they hibernate. During the
period of droughts, some snails also estivate (go into a long period of Torpor
due to extreme heat weather) as well.

Bats are a very special animal breed for
many reasons. First, they are the only mammals which fly. They are also blind
and can navigate using echolocation. They are as old as dinosaurs and sleep with
their feet up. To top it off, they also hibernate.Bats are one of the longest hibernating
mammals. It undergoes true hibernation. They go to sleep so deep that they
could be mistaken for dead. They are not usually domesticated, so in the wild,
big brown bats can spend about 60 days in hibernation. When they are
domesticated, Bats can spend up to an unbelievable 344 days; that’s less than a
month left in a year.

When Bats want to hibernate, they do so
dependently on the specie. Bats have quite a vast number of species. Precisely,
after Rodents, bats are the second largest order of mammals. For some specie,
they hibernate alone, or some gather together close to one another. They could
use the cavities of a large tree trunk, or a cave. They can even huddle
together in old mine shafts, old wells, and in old attics that are not
frequently visited.Their hibernation can be caused by lack
of food. Bats, particularly those in the northern areas hibernate during winter
when insects are scarce. During their hibernation, they can go long stretches
without eating, occasionally waking up to take a drink. By February and March,
some bats can leave their hibernacula (hibernating home) to search for food and
water.Their heart rate drops from 400 beats
per minute during this hibernation period to only about 25 beats per minute,
and some bats can afford to breathe so slow for as little as only once in 2
hours. Their body temperature also drops to just a few degrees above air
temperature.One thing about hibernation for Bats is
that they can use the heat that is stored in their bodies to get themselves
warm once again. At the end of their hibernation, the bats can suffer weight
loss of about half of their body weight, taking a few grams of stored fat at a
time.    Tortoise/Turtles

Different
types of Turtles have different hibernation patterns. The general binding fact
is that since they do not produce their body heat, Turtles have to hibernate in
one way or the other. Water Turtles will bury themselves under
mud and leaves at the bottom of the pond where they habit. For freshwater
Turtles, their body temperature is quite stable to avoid them going into
Freezing. Their body temperature drops and their lungs stop functioning. With
the lungs not receiving air, they start receiving air from specialized skin
cells near their tail opening that provides oxygen from the water so that they
do not die. This is called ‘cloacal respiration’ or breathing through your
posterior.

Land Turtles make their ‘hibernacles’ on
land. They dig a burrow deep into the ground to ensure that they are safe from
predators and the chills of the winter cold.