When the winter and the cold arrive, we usually avoid opening the windows of our homes or stay outside for long periods.
Instead, we turn on the heating and get to the bottom of our wardrobe to get warmer clothing. However, the animal’s choices to face the cold are way more radical.
Cold-blooded animals like snakes, lizards, tortoises and frogs are unable to perform their basic functions when the temperature drops and have to hibernate with the arrival of winter. But they are not the only ones affected: the low temperatures also mess with the endothermic animals’ metabolism. Their bodies start to lose heat really fast and they have a greater need of ingesting food, consuming a high amount of calories.
After this, hibernation is the animals’ response to adverse environmental conditions, triggered by external signs. But the signs aren’t just visible on the outside, as the animals also feel the need to hibernate in their bodies, thanks to seasonal cycles of hormones, neurotransmitters and amino acids that trigger the dormant period.
There are two crucial periods for these sleeping animals: falling asleep and waking up. The first moment is usually punctuated by spaced episodes of numbness, but if they did everything right they will get through the winter without major consequences.
Then, after the cold months, it’s time to wake up. At this point, the majority of animals will quickly try to find water, recovering their body temperature along the way. But to know more you must check our infographic and find out the most interesting facts about hibernation!