Greetings friends and welcome to this week’s blog post. The polar vortex is now behind us and just in case you are reading and don’t know what that means here is an equation “Polar Vortex+You=Human Popsicle.” In other words it was supremely cold, honestly colder than Antarctica and Siberia this past week. We hunkered down for the cold spell but it got me to wondering. What animals actually hibernate for the winter and what animals were hunkered down like we were.
Hibernation is a survival skill, animals store fat and food reserves and sleep for months to survive the harsh winters. The hedgehog is my favorite winter animal honestly. It hibernates but if the weather is warm the hedgehog can stay awake through most of December. Did you know that if a hedgehog gets too cold in its den that it will actually get up and change dens in the middle of winter? They should get space heaters or something :).
Those that stay awake like us humans do include: porcupines, badgers, bobcats and skunks. You’d think that all of these critters take a timeout for the winter but no, as long as they can eat and have dens to stay safe in and huddle together, those critters will be awake and well.
What I do find interesting in these periods where food can be scarce are activity patterns. You’ll frequently see a lion laying around most of the day. They’re actually active for about 4 hours a day and then sleep for almost 20. Those massive bodies require lots of nutrients to keep them moving so to preserve energy between feedings (which can be days) lions lay around a lot.
Some Don’t Hibernate But It’s Close
Animals behave much the same as you and I do, if we workout more to get in shape for example we know we have to raise our food intake. The animal kingdom pretty much operates by the same needs. So in a period of bitter cold in the winter as food supplies are at their scarcest you’ll have less activity and see animals a little bit less in nature.
Animals should begin to emerge from their slumber around mid March. With global warming and warmer temps, bears in Yellowstone Park have been waking up out of their slumber in early February. Something like this can be problematic because food supplies aren’t where they need to be at that time requiring them to travel into places that might not be safe to find food.
It’s fun to learn and study about animals and their habits. It’s a reminder of how beautiful a planet we live on. When you bring CTC Animal Rides to your event you get so much more than just a petting zoo or a camel ride. You get professional animal handler who love to talk about their work, all you have to do is ask. If you’d like to discuss how we can help make your event even more awesome give us a call today and let’s talk about what your needs are and how we can help you check them off on your planning lists. That’s all for this week, thanks and we will talk more next week.