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How Animals Survive In Winter

Have you ever wondered how animals survive during the cold winter months? Animals use one of three coping mechanisms to deal with cold, snow and food shortages. Animals in winter may: Migrate: Migration means moving, and some animals move with the changing seasons. By moving from cold areas to warmer ones, animals are able to find food sources that are otherwise unavailable during the winter months. Birds migrate, but some mammals do, too – bats, elk, caribou and even some whales follow the weather to find warm winter quarters. Adapt: Some animals change with the seasons, adapting to the temperature and weather conditions. They may grow a thicker coat, or their fur may change color so they blend in better with the snow. Whitetail deer grow a grayish coat during the winter, which blends in well with the color of forest tree trunks. Their coats change to richer, reddish-gray during the spring and summer, which blends in better with the dappled shade of warm weather. Other adaptations include the squirrel’s propensity to store nuts and seeds, which provide them with an adequate store of food during the winter. Hibernate: Among the more curious ways animals survive the winter is hibernation. We’re all aware that bears hibernate, but what about other animals – do deer hibernate? Do groundhogs hibernate? Do squirrels hibernate? No, but other animals and insects do. During hibernation, the animal’s body drops into a special kind of deep sleep. Systems slow down to preserve energy. Bears, skunks, chipmunks and some species of bats all hibernate to conserve energy and wait until food sources are plentiful

again.  [full article]

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