Why Do Animals Hibernate?

Genius Hour Q2: Ryley Hoffman

The Main Reason For Hibernation:

The main reason animals hibernate is during the harsh winter when food is scarce. Before animals hibernate, they eat a lot of extra food to get through the season and survive off of the energy stored in their fat from the extra food.
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The Difference between Hibernating and Sleeping.

Physical changes during hibernation are much different compared to sleeping. After hibernation some feel exhausted and have to catch up on sleep.
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Examples of Animals That Hibernate:

“There are several animals that hibernate– skunks, bees, snakes, and groundhogs to name a few– but bears and bats are the most well-known.” (Gloman)

More on Bears and Hibernating:

Bears usually start hibernating around September through October, and end close to April. (about 6-7 months of hibernation) The start and end of the bears hibernation factors from the weather and weather changes. Also, they have a drop in heart rate from 40-50 beats per minute to 8-19 beats per minute during hibernation. Some mammals that hibernate have to wake up every few days to raise their body temperature, move around, urinate, and eat. But grizzly bears do not generally do that, they live off of the layer of fat built up from the summer and fall months before hibernation. (NPS)

More on Other Animals


"Why Do Animals Hibernate?" How It Works Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2015. <http://www.howitworksdaily.com/why-do-animals-hibernate/>.

Gloman, Nancy. "What Animals Hibernate during the Winter?" Defenders of Wildlife Blog. N.p., 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2015. <http://www.defendersblog.org/2015/02/know-chipmunks-hibernate/>.

"Groundhog Hibernation." Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2015. <http://animals.mom.me/groundhog-hibernation-3613.html>.

N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.livescience.com/32227-do-bats-hibernate.html>.

N.p., n.d. Web. <http://hibernationstation.weebly.com/garter-snakes.html>.

N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/denning.htm>.

Picture Citations:

-Chipmunk picture: http://s.hswstatic.com/gif/hibernation-chipmunk.jpg

-Bear hibernating: http://www.nps.gov/katm/photosmultimedia/images/bear-in-den-illustration.jpg

-Groundhogs: http://www.charlottenaturemuseum.org/content/blog/photos/large/185.jpg

-Bats: http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/files/2010/06/bats.jpg

-Snakes: http://goo.gl/cZrdKv