Animals That Hibernate or Estivate in the Summer or Winter

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.

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18 Responses to “Animals That Hibernate or Estivate in the Summer or Winter”
  1. Bullwinkle Muse Says...

    On March 26, 2009 at 10:55 am

    That jerboa is pretty freaky-deaky….looks like the anorexic love child of Bugs Bunny and Minnie Mouse. Good stuff.

  2. Joie Schmidt Says...

    On March 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    That’s SO funny………. I was going to comment on the Jerboa also…………. I have NEVER seen anything like it before. Whoa.



    -Liane Schmidt.

  3. Gone. Says...

    On March 26, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Oh, I agree with Bullwinkle Muse, the jerboa was really freaky looking. Yes, it did look like an anorexic love child between Bugs Bunny and Minnie Mouse! Well written and interesting article, Stephan.

  4. Mrs M Says...

    On March 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I have got to say that Jerboa really did freak me out. I always thought bears were the only ones that hibernated.

  5. barbie67013 Says...

    On March 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    The lemurs are my favorite. They are just sooo cute. great article!

  6. postpunkpixie Says...

    On March 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    *makes squealing noises over pictures of bats, lemurs and jerboa* Too cute! I love jerboa. There’s a video of a newly-found genus of them all hopping around in the desert at night, they’re just adorable. Interesting piece.

  7. Kimberly L. Thomas Says...

    On March 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Great article. I really never knew that so many animals hibernated. You should add teenagers in there also (they seem to sleep a lot :P )

  8. rutherfranc Says...

    On March 27, 2009 at 12:31 am

    don`t hibernate XO, we want to see more of this..

  9. Lindy lee Says...

    On March 27, 2009 at 12:38 am

    i loved this! im a huge animal fanatic,i especially love the bit about gila monsters..theyre one of my favorite animals.
    and that jerboa…crazy lookin little thing!

  10. Michelle Says...

    On March 27, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Whoa! some freaky looking animals there…that Gila Monster is a nasty looking dude! wouldn’t want to meet him in the desert.
    Great job Stephen! :)

  11. DA Cournean Says...

    On March 28, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Great write Stephen. I learn something new every day. Your presentations are soooo interesting!

  12. Westbrook Says...

    On March 28, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Great article on an interesting subject. I once had a pet snake that I allowed to hibernate under my house during winters. One Sring, we found something had gotten to it and ate it leaving his bones.

  13. CutestPrincess Says...

    On March 29, 2009 at 10:36 am

    such an interesting piece…

  14. dj Says...

    On April 20, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    jeroba…myth or truth

  15. gothchickLUV Says...

    On February 15, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    i LUVED the bat it was awsom. the artical is also cool, it helped me with a science project. :)

  16. darian matthews Says...

    On March 2, 2010 at 11:16 am

    good stuff but the snake is preety big and to all yall i like animnals

  17. tyffany Says...

    On May 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    jeroba is so real look up images of when it was a baby ….


    so cute

  18. tyffany Says...

    On May 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    just to change subject…website i think is good is match .com
    go meet people meet me

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