What do animals do in winter?

What do animals do in winter?

It's cold outside! How do animals survive?

When it gets cold, what do you do?

I put on a jumper, stay inside and have a hot chocolate!

Animals can't put on a jumper, so what do they do in winter? Winter is cold and there is less food around. Animals have three choices. They can:

Hibernate

Hibernation is like a very deep sleep. Animals hide away in a den or burrow. Their body temperature and heart rate slow down. This helps them to save their energy. Hibernating animals wake up in spring when the weather is nicer and there is more food around.

Hibernate_FEX_038

Hibernating bear

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.

Geese migrating_95431132

Geese migrating

Adapt

Animals that adapt to the cold weather often change their appearance. They grow warmer fur or feathers and sometimes change colour. 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.

Mountain hare_96701996

Mountain hares turn white in winter for camouflage

Most of us have to adapt to the cold British winter. We put on extra clothes and turn the heating on. If you could migrate or hibernate, which would you pick? Would you fly off to a sunny country or curl up in bed?

Take our quiz to find out if you're a hibernator or a migrator!

I'm sorry, it appears you do not have flash installed.

Curriculum information

  • Summary

    4

    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • 5
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum
    123
Sign up for the newsletter
Sign Up For The Newsletter
Want to get the latest science news from Planet Science straight to your inbox? Sign up now!