Have you ever seen someone sleeping for a long time? Very quickly you will think of someone who is lazy. Although sometimes, don’t you also secretly wish that you could stretch your sleep-time for a few more hours, especially on a school day.
What if someone slept for months together? Now that is not laziness. Such kind of sleep is called hibernation. A lot of animals go into hibernation during the winter time when the climate is very cold and there is almost no food in the difficult weather. This is their body’s way of surviving the harsh winter. For example the ground squirrel goes into hibernation and its body temperature drops very low. So the body uses very little energy to survive. But they do get up occasionally to eat a bite or go to the bathroom.
However Bears in the colder regions are a bit different from the squirrels or the bats. They really go into deep sleep for almost seven months. They realize that since there is no food they might as well nap :). Once the weather is warmer with the coming of spring they start waking up.
So next time someone calls you lazy tell them about the bears 🙂
Before these animals start their sleep they usually eat lots of food. Why? In order to get through the winters peacefully.
Does this long sleep happen only in the winter? Yes, the animal do hibernate only in the winter, but some animals also become very inactive in the summer times. They enter this stage of inactivity during the hot and dry season in the summers. This process is similar to hibernation and is called aestivation. These include air-breathing land snails, lady bugs and mosquitoes.
Bears who live in warmer climate do not hibernate. Other examples are hedgehogs, snails, Box turtle and garter snakes.