What do animals do in winter?

What do animals do in winter?

How do animals survive a cold winter?

Uh oh. Brrrrr. You've just realised, it's cold outside! You're an animal without access to central heating and an extra jumper. Winter is a hard time for you. It's cold and there is much less food available. You've got three choices. Which will you pick? You can:

Hibernate

Hibernation is like a very deep sleep. Animals hide away in a den or burrow, surviving on fat reserves they have put on over summer. Their body temperature and heart rate slow right down. This helps them to save their energy. Hibernating animals wake up in spring when the weather is warmer and food supplies have increased.

How do animals prepare their bodies for hibernation? Chris Packham explains!

Migrate

Would you like to go somewhere hot for the winter? That's what migrating animals do. When the weather starts to get cold migrating animals fly or swim to a warmer place where they can find food. Why don't migrating birds get lost?

Which birds migrate to the UK? Have a look at this!

Adapt

Animals that adapt to the cold weather often change their appearance. They grow extra fur or fat to keep them warm. Some animals change colour to camouflage themselves against the snow. These animals can find food in winter, even though there isn't much food around. Some animals change what they eat to ensure they always find plenty of food!

Some animals can survive winter temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius! Have a look at these musk oxen.

There are loads of great games to find out more about animals over winter. Have a look at these winter animal games.

Now you know all about how animals survive winter, can you beat our tricky true or false quiz?

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Curriculum information

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