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8 AMAZING Winter Animal Facts

By Molly Haymen

  1. Animals can survive without oxygen while hibernating. During hibernation, an animal’s body temperature and heart rate drops, and their breathing rates are reduced by 50 to 100 percent!!

2. Arctic Squirrels can lower their body temperature to below freezing during hibernation. In one study conducted, their body temperatures were recorded at -3 degrees Celsius, which may be the lowest core body temperature ever recorded in a mammal.

3. Hibernation can occur during the summer months. Known as “aestivation,” this is a period of animal dormancy, (where an animal’s life pauses) usually by insects, reptiles, and amphibians, occurs during dry months to retain water and conserve energy.

4. Animals don’t dream during hibernation. During hibernation, an animal’s body is too cold to produce the electric currents related to dreaming. They enter long periods of REM sleep.

5. Some domestic (pet) goldfish hibernate during the winter.

6. Instead of building a nest, like normal birds, emperor penguins incubate their egg on top of their feet in a loose fold of skin. This area is featherless and packed with blood vessels to help keep the egg warm until hatching time.

7. Did you know that that the fur of a Polar Bear is actually not white? They have a lush thick guard coat, which protects the undercoat, and the hairs in this coat are mostly transparent. They appear white thanks to an optical illusion, whereby the air spaces in each hair throw colour that is read by our eyes as white.

8. To prepare for hibernation, many animals have to gain weight in the summer and autumn. The extra fat keeps them alive during the winter. A bear can gain up to 15 kilos in a week!!



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