There are many animals that hibernate. Almost everyone knows that bears hibernate, but are you familiar with the other animals that hibernate? We are going to see what 4 animals hibernate for the longest period of time, but first we need to look at some forms that are considered hibernation.
True Hibernation: This is when an animal actually goes to sleep and all physical properties of the animal slow down. The animal lives off the fat they have stored from the food they ate before they took their long nap.
Torpor Or Estivation: Torpor is a type of hibernation that happens in cold climates. The animal does awaken at times to eat or drink and then goes back to sleep. The animal does reduce their heart-rate so that less energy is used. Estivation is the same as Torpor, but for extremely hot and dry climates. The animal may wake to drink water at times.
Brumation: Brumation is very similar to Estivation, but is what reptiles do. It is similar to hibernating, in that the reptile slows down all physical properties and lives off the fat it had stored. The reptile wakes at times to drink water.
Diapuase: This is a type of hibernation that insects do. They do not actually sleep, but they shut down almost all activity that would take their energy. It is because of this that insects have their young in the spring.
For this article, we are going to just take a look at the four animals that hibernate the longest with True Hibernation. What animals do you think take the longest naps?
Bats go into a very long hibernation cycle. They sleep anywhere from 5 to 7 months. Many bats lose a lot of weight during these naps. They must immediately go out for a huge meal after their nap.
(Bears could possibly fall into the #2 spot, but it depends on the type of bear. Bears can hibernate anywhere from a few days to 5 months. With the climate changes, they have seen a reduction in bear’s hibernation.)
They burrow deep underground and make a nest. They roll into a ball and do not awaken for 5 to 6 months.
Are you surprised? You didn’t know that bumblebees hibernate? In all actuality, not all of them do. Most of them die. There is only one bumblebee from any hive that doesn’t die and hibernates for approximately 5 months. That is the queen.
4- Common Poorwill
This is the only known bird that hibernates. They find a rock or log and go under it to sleep for up to 5 months.
Hibernation is amazing. Now you know the longest nap takers.