Here are some interesting and important facts about hibernation.
1. The only bird that hibernates all winter is the Common Poorwill. Other bird that hibernates is the Bobac Marmot.
2. Most animals that hibernate are mammals. Mammals that hibernate include bears, chipmunks, echidna, hamsters, ground squirrels and hedgehogs. These animals are all warm-blooded.
3. Large animals warm up and come out of hibernation much slower than small animals.
4. Animals that hibernate get ready to hibernate by eating a lot to accumulate more fats.
5. The animal’s heartbeat slows down and breathes slowly during hibernation period.
6. During hibernation period, the animal makes very little body heat and its body temperature drops.
7. Hibernating animals go to places which are safe from cold weather and enemies such as caves or underground burrows.
8. Because an animal doesn’t have to eat during hibernation, it lives off of fat stored in its body.
9. Some amphibians, which are cold-blooded animals, also hibernate such as frogs and toads. The Chorus Frog is a notable example of frog species that hibernates.
10. Some reptiles, which are also cold-blooded animals, also hibernate such as lizards, snakes and turtles.
11. Some animals that live in desert also undergo into a kind of deep sleep called estivation during summer to escape the blazing heat such as insects and squirrels. Mudfish and catfish are also known to estivate during summer.
12. The deep sleep in which bats and some kinds of birds go dormant each day is similar to hibernation and is called dormancy.
13. Epaulette Sharks are known to survive for long periods of time without oxygen, even being left high and dry.
14. Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur is the only known primate or tropical mammal to hibernate. This creature from Madagascar hibernates in tree holes for seven months of the year.
15. If blood is taken from a hibernating squirrel in the winter and injected into another squirrel in the spring, the normally active squirrel will be more prone to hibernation when placed in cold dark conditions. This is called HIT or Hibernation Induction/Inducement Trigger.