Winter Survival!

How some creatures endure the bluster and blizzards through hibernation
By Brian M. Collins
Published: October 7, 2011
Photo by Brian M. Collins
As winter arrives, I find I am a changed man with the first snowfall. In the ensuing weeks, my appetite for rich foods grows, as does my love of extended slumbers, watching football on the couch, and all things slothful. Perhaps, in a way so akin to my animal neighbors, I am shutting … down … for winter.
    The way each beloved wild mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, and invertebrate responds to winter is of great interest to us. Perhaps it’s because we feel for the beauty that is cast into a bleak vestige of its former summer self. Maybe it’s the warmth of our homes that makes us sympathize with those wild personalities exposed to the harsh elements. Or, just maybe, we experience many of the same instinctive cues from our environment that slow us down and remind us that it wasn’t long ago that we, too, needed to survive such exposure. 
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