I believe we are all familiar with the quality of hibernation from stories we were told as children, or we saw on the television. I do remember from the Disney show in my youth seeing this defined.
So on a trip once a few years back while at a roadside rest in the Mojave, I learned that snakes do a similar form of ‘hibernation’ in the hottest part of the summer called estivation. Now for reptiles that slow down during cold weather there is Brumation. So many words and such fun adding another one to the vocabulary, unless you were already familiar with all this. Enjoy!
Read on for the rest of the story
In The Winter:
Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in endotherms. Hibernation refers to a season of heterothermy characterized by low body temperature, slow breathing and heart rate, and low metabolic rate. It is most commonly observed during the winter months.
When it is just cold:
Brumation is a term used for the hibernation-like state that cold-blooded animals utilize during very cold weather. On the other end of the spectrum is a state known as aestivation, which like brumation, provides a way for reptiles to handle temperature extremes.
In The Summer:
Estivation is when animals slow their activity for the hot, dry summer months. During a period of estivation, many reptiles go underground where it’s cooler. Estivation is very similar to hibernation, when some mammals spend the winter moving very little and sleeping a lot, in order to save energy. Aslo: Aestivation or æstivation (from Latin: aestas, summer, but also spelled estivation in American English) is a state of animal dormancy, similar to hibernation, although taking place in the summer rather than in the winter.