World’s Top Hibernating Animals.
There are animals which possess the ability to hibernate during the winter. Hibernation is the period of spending the winter in a dormant state. Hibernation is a period of inactivity, it is a long period of time where an animal sleeps throughout the winter only to become active again in the summer. Not all animals are blessed with this unique ability to be dormant for a long period of time and that is why Nigerian Infopedia has chosen to look at the best 10 hibernating animals in the world.
List of Top 10 Animals That Hibernate in the World
10. Wood Frogs
Consider this, what would run through your mind when you see a frozen frog covered up in ice crystals and isn’t breathing, without a heartbeat? Your guess is as good as mine. You’d probably think that the frog was dead. However, If it is a wood frog, just know that it isn’t dead, only hibernating.
Wood frogs hibernate inside logs or burrows or under rocks or leaf piles. During the cold of winter, when in hibernation, they actually stop breathing, their heart stops and ice crystals form in their blood. When the weather warms, they defrost, and their lungs and heart go back into action. Pretty amazing!
9. Deer Mice
These animals are interesting. Deer mice have short lives and they undergo light hibernation periods. Their light hibernation period is known as “torpor”. In cold weather, deer mice torpor from morning to late afternoon bundled up with their buddies and then spend the night searching for food.
Between their daily torpor and the shared heat from snuggling up together, deer mice are able to save valuable amounts of energy.
8. Common Poorwill
Common poorwills are the only birds that experience true, lengthy hibernation, other species of birds hibernate when the temperatures get really cold, really hot or when food is scare. When necessary, they can even hibernate while incubating their eggs. That’s one way to pass the time, while waiting for the chicks to hatch!
7. Ground Squirrels
Ground squirrels hibernate due to a change in their blood. Scientists have been able to get an active ground squirrel to go into hibernation by injecting it with blood from a hibernating squirrel. They can hibernate for as long as nine months and also torpor.
Skunks get really comfortable in their dens during the winter. They also undergo light hibernation (torpor) in the company of their close family. During their few month torpor, they occasionally wake up and come out to look for what to eat.
Many a loving pet owner have cried out in dismay when they found their hamsters dead, only to learn they were actually in torpor (a light hibernation). Once those hamsters were rustled about, they probably awoke pretty grouchy and scared. Hamsters hate being awoken from this state. In addition, the sudden disturbance can cause a heart attack, literally scaring them to death.
Hamsters torpor for a few days to a week at one time when the weather is cold. They will only torpor if there is plenty of food nearby so they can snack during brief waking bouts.
4. Prairie Dogs
Prairie dogs aren’t really dogs; they’re actually rodents, but they do bark kind of like dogs. They also are really good at surviving cold weather. Depending on the species of prairie dog and the area it lives in, it either hibernates or goes into torpor. White-tailed prairie dogs hibernate through the winter. Black-tailed prairie dogs go into torpor for a few days at a time, and only hibernate on rare occasions during extreme cold weather conditions.
Bats are interesting for so many reasons. They’re the only true flying mammals, they navigate using echolocation, have been around since the dinosaur days and they hibernate. Bats go into a true hibernation, meaning they are in such a deep sleep that they may appear to be dead. During hibernation, a bat’s heart rate drops from 400 to 25 beats per minute, and its breathing slows so much that it might not take a breath for up to an hour.
Bats hibernate in the cavities of large trees, caves, old mine shafts, old wells, and even in people’s attics. Depending on the species of bat, it either hibernates alone or in a group.
Hedgehogs hibernate anywhere from a few weeks to six months, depending on the weather. During hibernation, their heart rate drops almost 90 percent. They wake briefly if their body temperatures drop too low and let their waking heart rate warm their bodies up before going back into hibernation.
Hedgehogs also go into estivation when the weather is really hot. Estivation is like hibernation, except for it takes place during hot weather, instead of cold weather. When the weather is scorching hot, who can blame a hedgehog for passing out for a while?
Bears undergo light hibernation as opposed to true hibernation, meaning that they can wake up at any time.
Bears go into a light hibernation during the winter months only if they live in cold areas. During their torpor, they don’t eat or drink for about 6 months on average and they rarely urinate or defecate. In addition, female bears give birth to and nurse their young during light hibernation.
This is a list of the top 10 Hibernating Animals in the World. It is not to say that there aren’t other animals which hibernate, because there are many other animals which do hibernate.