Hey cool cats, I’m Dr. Universe, here to answer your baffling science questions like this one: Dear Dr. Universe, why do animals hibernate? Animals survive winter in different ways. Some penguins huddle together in groups to create heat. Lots of birds fly south to warmer weather. Maybe you put on mittens and a coat. Then there are the hibernators. Bears, bats, frogs, and salamanders for example. Hibernation is a kind of deep long winter sleep but it isn’t exactly the same kind of sleep these animals would normally have at night. During hibernation these animals have slower heartbeats, a lot of them can go without food for months at a time, and many don’t even have to wake up to go to the bathroom. All of these things help them survive the season. While some animals hibernate in winter, others estivate during hot, dry seasons. Can you think of some things animals might need to survive in these conditions? You can submit a science question of your own at AskDrUniverse.wsu.edu.
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