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15 Animals That Hibernate

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Welcome to 15 Animals That Hibernate. Hibernation is a state in which an animal slows down its heart rate and metabolism to consume less energy. Animals usually hibernate during the winters when the food is sparse and the temperature is low. They go into a state of hibernation to survive the cold weather. 

Some animals go into a deep sleep throughout the winters while some animals go in a light sleep. Slowing down your heart rate and metabolism for more than twenty-four hours is considered hibernation. Animals fill up their stomachs to the fullest to survive the cold weather.

Animals that hibernate

All animals hibernate differently. Even all the mammals that hibernate differ from one another. Obligate and facultative are two types of hibernation. 

Obligate hibernation is when animals go into hibernation yearly irrespective of the temperature. Whether the temperature drops or not they hibernate as a ritual on yearly basis. On the other hand, facultative hibernation is when an animal hibernates to survive the cold weather. 

Further is a list of 15 animals that hibernate during the winters to survive the low temperatures. 

#1 Chipmunks

chipmunk that hibernates

Chipmunks are tiny creatures belonging to the squirrel family. They are around two to six inches in length with a three-inch tail. They are found mostly in colors of yellow and brown with gray fur along with black and white stripes going down from their necks. 

Chipmunks look like squirrel babies but they aren’t. They are very cheerful and playful animals. They love burrowing and eating nuts. During summer and spring, you’ll find them on the ground or on the tree eating nuts and enjoying themselves. 

During winters this animal goes into the hibernation process and only wakes up to consume already stored food. They burrow a hole in the ground up to three feet deep and ensure that it is under cover to avoid any predator attacks. 

The chipmunks go into a deep sleep during their hibernation period. During the spring and summer time, they are mostly nibbling on their nuts but during the late summers, they work hard to collect and store food for winter. 

#2 Bears

grizzly

Bears look cute and fuzzy but their looks can be decisive. They are very dangerous animals and they prey on other animals, even humans. They tend to get very aggresive when they are hungry. 

There are a variety of species of bears and all can be identified at a small age. They are found in black and brown colors. Some species are even gray. They are really big in size. 

Their flat feet make them climb trees with ease. They are seen roaming around during summers and hibernating during the winters. 

Bears hibernate in a den. The den can be under a tree, in a cave, under leaves and bushes, or in crevices of rocks. They eat double the amount of food during late summers and fall to fill up their stomachs to the fullest to survive winters. 

Bears go into a heavy deep sleep, and most don’t even wake up till the spring season. The pregnant female bears wake up during January or February to give birth to their offspring.

#3 Bats

bats

Bats are small animals that look like rats with wings of rubber-like texture. They have very small eyes which makes it hard for them to see during the daytime. They are better at flying at night time. 

Their size is minor ranging from 1.1 to 1.3 inches. They weigh half a pound. They have large wings of 5.9 inches. They are black and are mostly seen flying during the night.

Not all bats hibernate during the winters. Some migrate to warmer areas to survive. The ones who are comfortable in an area decide to stay and hibernate during the winters. 

Bats are usually found hibernating in hollow trees, barns, and buildings. They are not human-shy animals. They have no problem co-existing with them. Therefore, they are often found in the attic or basement where it’s dark and quiet during the winters. 

#4 Box Turtles

box turtle hibernate

The turtle comes in a unique shape which makes them recognizable even to children. They have a hard shell-like exterior and a soft body residing inside that shell. They eat worms and insects. 

They come in various sizes. Many people keep turtles in their homes as a pet. They are a wild species, not as friendly as cats and dogs or dangerous like a wild bear. They hide inside their shells when they feel threatened or under attack. 

Box turtles need their peaceful environment to hibernate during the winters. They don’t travel far to hibernate. They usually go inside their shells to sleep since they feel most protected there.

They tend to stop eating for weeks before going into hibernation mode. Turtles hibernate with a clean gastronomical track. They are seen hidden from September or October. Their hibernation periods last three to four months.

#5 Bumble Bees

Bumble Bees

Most people don’t know that bumble bees also hibernate during the winters. They are not commonly seen in outdoor places during cold weather. 

They are small in size. They are yellow in color with black stripes on them. The only difference between bumble bees and honey bees is that they are bigger in terms of size and fuzz along with short wings. 

All the bees die during the winters. Only the queen is left to hibernate during the cold months. Once the hibernating period is over she will create a new colony. That is why this Animal belongs to Animals that Hibernate.

The queen bumble bee sleeps during the winters and wakes up during spring. She fills her system up with enough pollen to survive the hibernation period. 

#6 Garter Snakes

Garter Snakes

There are many types of snakes. Snakes are venomous and dangerous. Garter snakes are not that dangerous and few of them contain mild venom. Many people keep these snakes as pets in their homes. 

Garter snakes are almost thirty inches long and can grow up to five feet long. They are often found in a variety of colors but may have yellowish green colored lines on their front side.  

These snakes like to build their den in a greener area such as a meadow to prepare for hibernation during the winters. They can travel miles looking for a perfect den. They like to hibernate with other snakes, the more the better. 

#7 Hedge Hog

Hedge Hog

A hedgehog has a prickly back and furry belly. They are often misunderstood as porcupines from a distance. They are minor in size just like hamsters. They are not a common species and therefore not found at homes as pets.

Their length ranges from five to twelve inches weighing fourteen to thirty-nine ounces. They make grunting sounds like a pig when in search of food. They eat insects, worms, snakes, and snails.

Hedgehog hibernates during the winter season. They do fall into a deep sleep and are often seen out of hibernation to find food. They like to hibernate in small areas which are dry and covered. 

Their main objective is to stay warm during the winters and if they find their hibernation habitat cold they will not make an effort to make it warm but will move to a new place. 

Also, the body temperature drops according to the environment. Their heart slows down and they may stop breathing for a while. 

They need to have an adequate amount of fat stored in their body to survive the winters. For that, they need to weigh at least six hundred grams.

#8 Land Snail

land snail hibernate

Land Snails are small creatures who hibernate during the winters. Their body is of a slimy texture with a shell mounted on their back. They have unusual habits of hibernating.

The land snail is sized about three centimeters to twelve inches. They have a hard shell around their bodies just like a turtle. This shell grows with them. 

Just like a turtle when a snail feels endangered they hide inside its shell. They do not like the sun or light, when encountered with it they may hide inside their shells. 

Land snails don’t like frost therefore they find their habitat for winters accordingly. They are often seen hibernating under a rock, corners, and even leaves. They may join their snail friends to hibernate together.

When the frost starts they start preparing for hibernation and cover themselves completely. They hide inside their shell and cover the opening with their slime to stay warm during the winters. Their hibernation period lasts from four to six months. 

#9 Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemurs

Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemurs

These dwarf lemurs are cute little creatures with big eyes and human-like hands. They are called fat-tailed because the fat from food that they consume gets stored in their tails. 

They are active during the night and sleep through the day. They can grow around 0.6 ounces in weight. 

They feel the most comfortable when in covered areas such as hollow trees and love to have the company of their friends. You may find them huddled with one another. 

They hibernate for about six months during the winters. During this time they utilize the fat stored in their bodies which was obtained from foods they ate in the warm season. They go into deep sleep bringing their heart rate very low. 

#10 Wood Frogs

Wood Frogs

Wood frogs can live through being in a frozen state. They can appear dead but don’t be fooled by their state of the body they will be out and about from their hibernation during the springtime.

They like to live in forests, you might notice frogs in swamps. They are yellowish green colored with a dark eye mask. If you encounter a frog that does not have a dark mask around its eyes then it’s probably not a wood frog. 

Wood frogs can grow in the range of 2 to 2.8 inches. These creatures are not picky when finding a habitat for hibernation. They just reside in their existing habitats by burying themselves under leaves. 

These frogs stay like this the entire duration of their hibernation. Once the spring arrives and the ice from their bodies starts to melt. They bring their heart rate back to normal and start breathing. After their hibernation period, they are good as new. Another great part of Animals that Hibernate.

#11 Common Poorwills

Common Poorwills

This is the only bird that hibernates during the winters instead of flying to warmer areas. Their face structure looks like owls. And just like owls, they are also nocturnal.

The size ranges from 7.5 to 8.3 inches in length and weighs from 1.3 to 1.9 ounces. They are small-sized birds similar to an owl. 

Common poorwills are found in colors similar to an owl, they are colored in black, brown, and gray which makes it easy for them to camouflage in the background.

They feel comfortable in a hollow log or a pile of leaves as a habitat for hibernation. They will stay asleep for weeks and stretch to months. They survive on the fat of insects they ate before hibernation. 

During the hibernation periods, their body temperature drops, and they slow down their heart rate and breathing to consume less energy.

#12 Skunks 

Skunks

Skunks are popular for the awful smell they produce when frightened or threatened by someone. They do not go into complete hibernation but they become less active during the winters.

They are twenty to thirty inches long including their tail. Their weight ranges from six to ten pounds. They mostly reside in empty logs or hollow trees and are found in a pile of leaves usually. 

During the winters they tend to stay near humans to have sufficient food and warmth. They are often found residing in porches of the houses. Skunks often dig holes in the garden to eat grubs, since they know they will be hibernating there. 

They are mostly found by people during their hibernation periods since they live close to a place where heat, warmth, and food are available. They cuddle with one another to stay warm during the winter months.

#13 Deer Mice

deer mice

Deer mice are little creatures with adorable features comprising black beady eyes, white feet beneath their belly, and a pointed nose. They don’t fully sleep during the winters, they often come out to look for food.

These mice have a short tail and a big round belly. They are found with brown and red colors on their body. They are very furry with tails that are colored dark brown to light brown.   

During winters they usually prefer living near humans to have an ample amount of food, warmth, and heat. They are human-shy animals and therefore are not seen often. While living in a human residence they do leave traces of their presence. 

Deer mice do not sleep completely during the winters but before hibernation they stock up food in their habitat to avoid going out in the cold for food. They tend to be slow during the winters. 

#14 Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs are not dogs actually but rodent animals. Its size is similar to a rabbit. They go into complete hibernation but tend to slow down during the cold months. 

Their body length ranges from twelve to fifteen inches with a three-inch long tail and weight measures from two to four pounds. They usually reside underground and have enough light at the ends to keep an eye on predators. 

These rodents have enough room in their habitat underground for a male and female rodent to reside.

During the winter months, they cuddle with their family members to keep themselves warm. They don’t hibernate completely, they often come out of their habitats in search of food but at night their heart rate and metabolism slow down.  

#15 Ground Squirrel

Ground Squirrel

Ground squirrels belong to a squirrel family but are often seen residing underground rather than trees. They are exactly like tree squirrels. 

They have furry tails with sharp claws which aid in climbing trees and digging holes. They have a brown-colored body having off-white and gray tints on top.

Not every species of squirrel hibernates but the ones who reside beneath the ground often hibernate. They don’t go into a deep sleep and often come out of their hibernation spot to look for food. 

When they fall asleep during the winter months they decrease their heart rate and breathing to slow their metabolisms. To check out more information on animals slowing their metabolism, click here.

Wrapping It Up for Animals that Hibernate

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The above-mentioned animals are a few of those animals that hibernate during cold months. Some go into a deep hibernation mode while others often wake up in search of food. The one thing common in all is that they eat double the amount of food before their hibernation period. 

They slow down their metabolism by decreasing their heart rate and breathing to consume less energy. They find suitable habitats to stay warm and cozy during the cold weather. 

Thank you for reading Animals that Hibernate.

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