Many woodland mammals eat plants during the warm months. When winter comes, these plants die or are covered with snow, and the animals have nothing to eat. But nature has provided them with a way to survive the I winter. It’s called hibernation, from the Latin word that means “winter.”
Animals that hibernate eat much more than they need during
the summer, and the excess food is stored in their fat. Then when cold weather comes, the animals crawl into a hole and go to sleep.
Their heartbeat and their breathing slow down, and their body temperature drops. In this state, animals need very little food. They can get the nourishment they need from the fat in their bodies, and don’t have to eat a single thing through the entire winter!
The gopher, the woodchuck, the chipmunk, certain bats, and many rodents hibernate through the winter. But some animals, such as the bear and the squirrel, retire Co winter homes when cold weather comes, but don’t really hibernate. They sleep a lot in winter, but wake up from time to time to eat.