What do bears do instead of hibernation?

Many animals once thought to hibernate, including bears, really only enter a lighter sleep-state called torpor. … Unlike hibernation, torpor is not voluntary and often lasts for shorter periods of time. During their active period of the day, animals in torpor maintain a normal body temperature, breathing and heart rate.

What happens to a bear if it doesn’t hibernate?

They lower their body temperature 8-12 degrees, and they break down fat stores for energy. Some protein is used as well, but bears largely conserve their muscle mass and thus do not become appreciably weaker during hibernation. Bears do wake up, however, and move around inside the den.

Do bears hibernate or torpor?

Hibernating bears enter a shallow torpor with a decrease in body temperature of only 10 degrees. It’s metabolism and hear rate slows down. But it doesn’t need to eat, drink or pass waste. In order to survive, fat in the bear’s body breaks down into water and calories for the body to use.

Do bears really sleep all winter?

We have heard since childhood that bears “sleep” through the winter, but in fact they are awake and in a reduced metabolic state. Yellowstone bears go months without performing the usual bodily functions, and their breathing and heart rates slow significantly.

Do bears poop while hibernating?

Grizzly bears and black bears generally do not eat, drink, defecate, or urinate during hibernation. … Waste products are produced, however, instead of disposing of their metabolic waste, bears recycle it.

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Do bears give birth while hibernating?

Cubs are usually born within the first two months of hibernation. Cubs and their mothers stay in their dens for the rest of the winter while the mother bear rests and the cubs nurse and grow. Females and their cubs usually emerge from their winter dens in late March or early April.

Can bears die during hibernation?

To survive long winters without eating, drinking, exercising, or passing wastes, hibernating bears cut their metabolic rates in half. … Bears do not usually die of starvation in dens, most deaths from starvation are before or after hibernation and involve primarily cubs and yearlings. Disease is uncommon.

What triggers hibernation in bears?

Bears enter a lighter state of sleep called torpor. Hibernation is a voluntary state an animal enters to conserve energy, when food is scarce, and minimize exposure to the winter elements. … Hibernation is triggered by decreasing day length and hormonal changes in an animal that dictate the need to conserve energy.

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