We all know bears and squirrels and other rodents hibernate over the winter months, some insects do too. They do this because of food shortages during the harsh winter months.. Here are some animals that you probably didn’t know about.
Bats are found all over the world except the North and South Poles. Not all bats will hibernate during the winter, some will fly south to escape the cold, other bats will stay and wait it out. Such as the Brown Bat or Red Bat, or many others they will build up a layer of fat during the summer and use it up slowly during the winter. Bats drop their body temperature to match the winter outside, this slows down their heart beat and dependence on oxygen, which in turn uses up less energy using less of the stored fat. A bat in hibernation may only breath once a minute, and its heart will only beat 10 times in the same minute. Most of these bats mate before taking on their deep sleep, males and females will sleep together and while they sleep the female will have stored enough fat for her and the young to grow. The male is first to leave the cave or barn or where ever they decide to take refuge. The mother will give birth in spring. Bats sleep upside down while they hibernate, by wrapping their wings around them seals them off from drafts and prevents them from catching hypothermia and dying.
The Fat-Tailed Lemur
Fat Tailed Lemurs live in Madagascar instead of hibernating through the winter months they hibernate during the dry season. They store up fat that they can use during their sleeping period, they can sleep up to 6 months of the year if needs be. These animals live alone and they only come together to sleep and mate. Unlike the bat they mate when they come out of hibernation, they give birth to two or three young before they sleep. Adult lemurs are first to sleep and their young then follow them when they have enough food. They gather in groups of 3-5 lemurs and they huddle together. They survive by living off the fat that they stored in their tails, this is what gives them the name of the Fat Tailed Lemur. After they wake up they all go their separate ways and they dont meet up again until the next dry season. They drop their body heat to a stable temperature, this allows their bodies to use up the stored fat with a slow metabolism.