What is required in order for the body to carry out any activity?
All living creatures require energy in order to carry out any activity, even thinking and sleeping. Food supplies the body with the energy required to fuel the processes required for regular function.
Why do animals need to hibernate?
Animals hibernate in order to conserve energy over the winter, when it is hard to find enough food to maintain the energy levels required to function.
What happens to an animal's body during hibernation?
During hibernation, body temperature, heart rate and respiration rate are decreased. Animals stop eating and many also stop excreting. Reducing these functions reduces the energy the animal requires.
Which animals are more likely to hibernate?
It is hard for smaller animals to migrate due to the amount of energy required, so smaller animals tend to hibernate. In addition, it would take too much energy for a larger animal to warm up after hibernation, so larger animals tend to migrate.
What is the term for reptile hibernation?
All of these terms refer to a type of hibernation. Brumation is the hibernation of reptiles, which differs from the hibernation of mammals, since reptiles are cold-blooded and cannot control their body temperature, so must spend the winter where they will keep warm enough. Estivation is a type of hibernation done in the summer and torpor is a type of short-term, daily hibernation.
What is the most significant change to the body as part of hibernation?
Temperature drop is the most significant aspect of hibernation. Some animals drop their body temperature by as much as 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 Celsius).
What happens to brain activity during hibernation?
During sleep, brain activity changes and is reduced. However, during hibernation, an animal's brain activity closely resembles the pattern of an animal that is awake, though brainwaves do appear suppressed. In fact, animals wake up from hibernation quite sleep deprived and require a lot of sleep to recover.
How do animals know when it is time to hibernate?
Different animals use different methods to know when it is time to hibernate and when it is time to wake up. Some use the outside temperature as their gauge, some watch their food supplies and some see the waxing length of day, called photoperiod, and know it is time to hibernate.
Some animals know it is time to hibernate based on their body clock. What is the term for the clock used to determine hibernation times?
Some animals use their circannual rhythm, their internal biological calendar, to know when it is time to hibernate. Animals that go into a daily torpor use their circadian rhythms to determine the time for their daily hibernation.
What do animals do before going into hibernation?
Before hibernating, animals need to find a good place to spend the winter. Some animals make themselves a den, usually from leaves and mud. Polar bears dig tunnels in the snow and other bears find a hollow tree or shallow cave to shelter in.
How do animals ensure they have enough energy stores to last them for the winter?
Some animals collect food that won't perish and keep with them. However, this means they need to wake up during the winter in order to eat. Other animals prefer to eat a lot before the winter and build up a fat reserve. Some animals use both of these methods.
Which system in the body controls hibernation?
The endocrine system controls most aspects of hibernation. The amounts of certain hormones are altered by glands in the body to control the various physiological aspects of hibernation.
How do hibernating animals protect themselves from freezing during hibernation, despite the reduction in body warmth?
Animals have a kind of body thermostat that allows them to reach a minimum temperature, known as the set point. If the set point is reached, the animal's metabolism will kick in and burn some fat reserves, thereby generating energy in the form of heat. The bigger the animal, the higher the set point, since it takes larger amounts of energy to heat up a larger animal.
During hibernation an animal's heart rate can drop to as low as __ percent of its usual level.
An animal's heart rate can drop as low as 2.5 percent of its usual heart rate. A chipmunk's heart rate is usually 200 beats per minute, but will drop to only five beats per minute during hibernation. Some animals will stop breathing during hibernation and an animal's conscious state is also greatly reduced.
How does an animal maintain the minimal level of function required during hibernation without food to fuel the processes?
Hibernating animals burn up body fat to provide energy for the minimal functions required to keep the animal alive during hibernation. Animals that cannot store enough body fat to last the winter will wake up periodically for a snack.
How do animals remove urea produced during hibernation?
Urea is a waste product produced by the body and is the main component of urine. Many animals don't excrete during hibernation. Instead, they recycle the urea by breaking it down into amino acids which the body can use. Animals are also able to extract water from their body fat to prevent dehydration.
When do animals go into estivation?
Animals use estivation to survive hot and dry climates. Usually they burrow into the ground to stay cool and reduce their metabolic activity in a similar fashion to hibernation.
Lungfish are able to live without water for how long?
Amazingly, lungfish are able to go into a special form of estivation in which they can live without water for three years! Lungfish have lungs which allow them to breathe air. If their lake dries up, lungfish burrow into the mud and secrete a special mucus that coats their body and holds moisture in. Even when the mud is completely dry, the lungfish stays moist and breathes through a mucus tube.
Which of the following animals use torpor to conserve energy?
Torpor is a type of hibernation that usually lasts a few hours overnight and helps animals that don't fully hibernate to save energy, usually during the winter. Hummingbirds have a heart rate in excess of 1,200 beats per minute and use torpor to conserve their energy, even in tropical climates. Goldfish do hibernate if they are in outdoor waters, but they don't use torpor.
What happens to an animal's cholesterol level before hibernation?
Before hibernation, animals eat a pure fat diet to build up their body fat reserves. Hibernating bears actually double their cholesterol levels. However, cholesterol is back to normal after hibernation and no ill effects of high cholesterol are suffered by bears. Research is being done to see if the mechanisms used by bears to manage cholesterol could help fight heart disease in humans.
You may have referred to an anti-social friend as being in hibernation, in the sense that most hibernating animals go into an unarousable state for many months at a time, cutting themselves off from the world. However, there are many aspects of hibernation that your anti-social friend will not be able to achieve. Take this quiz to learn more about the hibernation process and what it is used for.
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