Discover Nature: Who Hibernates ... and Who Doesn't?


Manage episode 228781011 series 1256501
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December 6 - December 12 Discover Nature this week as Missouri’s wildlife den up or hibernate to avoid the cold. Winter is a challenge for wildlife and many species have various methods of surviving the cold. Some animals leave the state and don’t come back until spring. Others find sheltered dens and sleep until spring. Some remain in Missouri and stay active through the winter, but they still have specials ways of handling the cold weather. Woodchucks, or groundhogs, are considered true hibernators. In late summer, they fatten up to prepare for a deep sleep that usually lasts until winter is over. They conserve energy reserves while sleeping by lowering their body temperature by about half and their heartbeat down to about four beats per minute from the normal 160 beats per minute. Other true hibernators include Franklin’s ground squirrels, meadow jumping mice and some species of bats. Though bears are widely thought of as hibernators, technically, they aren’t. A bear’s sleep is not

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