Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Table of Contents
Hibernation is a state of drastically reduced metabolic activity and body temperature that some mammals adopt as a defense against harsh winter weather. All forms of winter dormancy in vertebrate animals are often referred to as hibernation.
See the fact file below for more information on Hibernation, or you can download our 27-page Hibernation worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- New research suggests that this kind of adaptation has a long history. According to sources, evidence points to a mammal that lived in Antarctica during the Early Triassic, some 250 million years ago, entering a state resembling sleep.
- The fossils show that torpor, which is a general term for hibernation and similar states in which animals temporarily lower their metabolic rate to get through a difficult season, arose in vertebrates even before mammals and dinosaurs evolved. Torpor is a general term for states in which animals temporarily lower their metabolic rate to get through a difficult season.
DORMANCY LINE-UP: HIBERNATION
- The majority of animals that hibernate need to store enough food or fat for the entire winter. Larger animals consume a lot of food in the summer and early fall and turn it into fat to utilize as fuel during the winter. Smaller animals, however, stockpile food to consume gradually throughout the winter.
- Rodents. Some rodent species may considerably lower their body temperature during the winter, in addition to the many rodent species that store food and slow their heart rate and metabolism. Arctic ground squirrels, whose body temperatures typically hover around 99˚F, can get as low as 27˚F.
- Frogs. In order to protect themselves from the extremes of cold and dryness that can occur throughout the winter, frogs and other amphibians must hide. They scavenge for a variety of places to hide from the elements in order to survive.
- Bears. Because their body temperatures do not drop throughout the winter, bears are not real hibernators. They are excellent at dormancy, though. In order to survive the wintertime food shortage, bears can slow down all of their bodily processes.
- Snakes. Reptiles begin to brumate in the late fall and will not eat over the winter; however, they will need to sip water.
- Bats. As they wait out for winter or for food to become more plentiful in the spring, some species of bats are another type of true hibernators, with their metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature all lowering. During the winter, these incredible creatures roost in locations like caverns.
- Marmots can spend up to eight months hibernating. They only take two to three breaths per minute, and during hibernation, their heartbeat decreases from 120 beats per minute to 3 to 4 beats
- The only bird species that is known to hibernate is the Common Poorwill. It chooses a location beneath flat rocks or decaying logs, where it lives for up to five months. It takes seven hours to return to its usual temperature when hibernation is over.
- Bats may hibernate for some of the longest periods when left alone. Big brown bats can hibernate for 64–66 days in the wild, but one lasted an amazing 344 days in captivity. Some bats only breathe every two hours, and their heart rates plummet from 1000 to merely 25 beats per minute.
- Box turtles that are hibernating can be found in well-hidden locations throughout North and South America. Depending on the area and subspecies of turtles, the period of their winter hibernation can range from 77 to 154 days.
- After hibernating for 6 to 8 months, the queen bee will reappear, warm up, and then find a suitable location to construct a nest and produce an entirely new colony of bees.
- Hedgehogs are among the animals that hibernate the longest. Some hedgehogs can hibernate the entire winter.
OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS OF DORMANCY: HIBERNATION
- Aestivation is a similar process to hibernation that is used by animals in hot locations to get away from intense heat or drought.
- The majority of animals shield themselves from the heat by burrowing into the ground. They are awaiting the rainy season or cooler weather here. During extended droughts, a lot of animals go into aestivation and die.
- Brumation is a dormant phase for reptiles. Similar to how mammals hibernate, their bodies shut down and store energy for the upcoming year. On some days, a brumating reptile may awaken, engage in some activity, consume water, and then resume its dormant state.
- Torpor occurs when a brief period of suspended animation on an animal’s respiration, heartbeat, body temperature, and metabolism are all slowed down.
- Torpor allows an animal to preserve energy in the short term and frequently helps it get through a short period of difficult circumstances, like a cold spell.
- The animals’ inability to respond quickly to predators is one of the challenges with torpor. The animal can also die if its body temperature goes too low if the cold period lasts an extremely long time.
CLIMATE CHANGE: HIBERNATION
- Climate change may shorten or lengthen climatic seasons, which may influence the availability of resources such as food and shelter and the amount of time that animals have to get ready for new seasons and life stages.
- Temperature, and especially warming in the spring, is the concern. Hibernators emerge prematurely as a result, before there is enough food in the environment to sustain them and when their fat reserves are severely exhausted.
- Hibernators won’t be able to produce those fat pads and won’t survive the winter if they cannot store enough food as fat, such as if there is a drought and there isn’t vegetation when they expect greenery.
- According to a study on 14 species of North American hibernators, hibernation lasted an average of 8.6 days less for every 1°C increase in yearly temperature, and survival also suffered, falling by 5.1% for every degree of warming. Non-hibernating rodents were unaffected during this time.
- Warmer winters are known to promote the growth of harmful infections in insects, and it’s also likely that certain flowers are blooming too early before enough bees have emerged to pollinate them.
- The signals that animals use to control their behavior can change as a result of climate change. The air temperature, for instance, serves as a signal for yellow-bellied marmots to emerge from hibernation. They are emerging sooner than usual due to the rising temperatures.
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Hibernation across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching kids about Hibernation, which is a state of drastically reduced metabolic activity and body temperature that some mammals adopt as a defense against harsh winter weather.
Complete List of Included Worksheets
Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.
- Hibernation Facts
- Remem-bear Me
- Word Twist
- Wild Wild Guess
- True or False
- What’s the difference?
- Lights, Camera, Hibernation!
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Hibernation Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 20, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.