Nature In The Natural State: Dormancy

Jan 31, 2020

With the onset of winter, days shorten and temperatures drop.

Animals meet winter’s challenges in different ways. Some mammalian species like chipmunks, bats, and bears experience different types of dormancy, lowering their body temperatures, slowing their heart rates and metabolisms, and going without food for periods ranging from several days to several months.

Reptiles have their own version of dormancy, called brumation, often going for months without food and oxygen, but drinking water throughout the period.

Foxes and deer grow heavy winter coats.

More than half of the North American breeding species of birds migrate, solving their loss of food sources by heading south to warmer weather.

You can help birds who stay the winter by not raking your leaves and putting out a feeder.