Science Questions

What's the difference between hibernation and aestivation?

Sun, 6th Jul 2008

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Jeremiah asked:

Can you tell me the difference between hibernation and aestivation?


We put this question to Harriet McWatters:

They’re very much the same thing. They’re periods of dormancy to avoid inclement conditions. Hibernation is usually when an animal is trying to avoid winter. Aestivation is in hot countries where it’s trying to avoid summer. It’s avoiding the worst times of year.


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Jeremiah asked the Naked Scientists: Hi, Please can you tell me the difference between hibernation and aestivation? What do you think? Jerryade, Thu, 12th Jun 2008

They are the same thing (more or less) except that hibernation occurs in cold weather, estivation in hot, dry weather. Animals estivate to lessen the risk of death by heatstroke or dehydration. DoctorBeaver, Sat, 26th Jul 2008

which do frogs do then...? opus, Fri, 1st Aug 2008

Frenchmen don't hibernate or estivate, silly.

Actually, they do a bit of both. THey estivate to avoid really hot summer weather, but also hibernate for a while when it's freezing. DoctorBeaver, Fri, 1st Aug 2008

Thankyou, that's what I thought.......... Where is your proof that frenchmen don't  hibernate or aestivate though? opus, Fri, 1st Aug 2008

They need all 12 months of the year for the number of strikes they have. DoctorBeaver, Sat, 2nd Aug 2008

tres funny doc! opus, Mon, 20th Oct 2008

Merci DoctorBeaver, Tue, 21st Oct 2008

When dormice hibernate their heartbeats slow down to 4 beats per minute, curling up in a tight ball. rosalind dna, Tue, 21st Oct 2008

When some frogs hibernate/ oestivate (the jury's still out on this one) they secrete a thin slimey bag around the body, which they eat on waking- grotesque to watch but fascinating! Apparently it provides essential nutrients to the waking frog. I prefer cornflakes myself. opus, Tue, 21st Oct 2008

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