Other animals settle in for a long winters nap. When we think about strategies animals use to survive the winter, we often picture birds flying south and bears hibernating in caves. However, not many animals truly hibernate, and bears are among those that do not. Bears enter a lighter state of sleep called torpor.
Where do bears hibernate in the winter?
Bears hibernate during the winter months in most areas of the world. Duration of winter denning is dependent upon latitude and varies from a few days or weeks for black bears in Mexico to 6 months or more for bears in Alaska (Kolenosky and Strathearn 1987, Haroldson et al. 2002).
What happens if you wake up a bear in hibernation?
A bear that senses a threat can wake quickly to defend itself. That’s because bears’ body temperatures only lowers by a few degrees when they hibernate. This helps them become alert much faster, compared to other animals. Many other species lower their temperatures to near freezing for hibernation.
Do bears ever 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.
How long does a bear sleep in hibernation?
Torpor also involves decreased breathing and heart rates, and lower metabolic rate. A bear’s body temperature reduces slightly. Bears can sleep more than 100 days without eating, drinking, or passing waste!
Does hibernation mean sleeping?
Despite what you may have heard, species that hibernate don’t “sleep” during the winter. Hibernation is an extended form of torpor, a state where metabolism is depressed to less than five percent of normal. … This is very different from sleep, which is gentle resting state where unconscious functions are still performed.
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.
Do bears sleep the entire time they hibernate?
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.