What's the difference between hibernation and aestivation?

06 July 2008

Question

Can you tell me the difference between hibernation and aestivation?

Answer

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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