Brumation: What It Is And Examples Of Animals - Summary!

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Have you ever thought about how animals survive cold winters? Through millions of years, animals have evolved and acquired adaptations that allowed them, and still allow them, to cope with cold temperatures. For example, migration is a type of strategy with which animals can flee from freezing areas to areas where temperatures are warmer or more favorable. Another type of strategy is the state of lethargy or dormancy that organisms reach when temperatures are very cold.

Precisely, on one of these sleeping strategies we will develop this interesting post by Green Ecologist, more specifically on what is brumation and examples of animals that bruma. If you are interested in learning everything about this evolutionary strategy of animals, we invite you to continue reading this article.

What is brumation

Let's start this article by revealing what brumation is. Brumation, like hibernation, is a lethargic state that some animals generally suffer in cold seasons. Precisely during brumation, the body continues with its basic vital functions, but dramatically decreases your metabolic activity to save energy. It is worth clarifying that the brumation state can also occur when there is a shortage of food, drought or some other adverse environmental condition.

As we mentioned, the metabolic activity of the animal decreases considerably. However, they continue to hydrate and, in some cases, can feed during this state of lethargy. However, feeding in brumation is not a general rule, since, precisely, during the winter food is scarce and the functions of the digestive system are also depressed, therefore digestion becomes practically impossible.

What animals bruman

If you wonder what are the animals that do brumation, you have to bear in mind that this state is typical of the ectothermic or cold-blooded animals, that is, those animals that are not capable of regulating their body temperature, but rather depend on external heat sources such as the sun. Thus brumation is specific to reptiles and amphibians. In itself, the brumation state constitutes an adaptation that ectothermic animals acquired to survive the cold and other environmental adversities. We recommend you read this other article about 10 cold-blooded animals so that you already know several examples.

However, the places where animals pass the brumation state are not random. In general, when the decrease in daylight hours begin to be noticed, in late summer or early fall, the animals begin to look for safe places or shelters where to spend the brumation. For example, aquatic animals often burrow at the bottom of bodies of water, while land animals dig holes in the ground, take refuge under fallen logs, or even under leaf litter. A curious case is that of the common salamander (Salamander salamander) that passes its state of lethargy under the ice sheets of frozen bodies of water. To end this section, we will list some examples of animals that bruman:

  • Vermilion frog (Temporaria frog): It is found in Europe and North Asia. It is a terrestrial amphibian, but the state of brumation occurs in the water.
  • Spurred toadPelobates cultripes): its distribution is limited to the Iberian Peninsula. It usually digs deep holes to take refuge during brumation.
  • Chaco land tortoise (Chelonoidis chilensis): It is native to the Chaco Forest in South America. Depending on the subspecies or the intensity of the cold in the area they reside, they can dig wells more or less deep in the ground on the basis of bushes or under dense herbaceous vegetation.
  • Red-eared tortoises (Trachemys scripta elegans): Also known as the Florida terrapin, it inhabits the southern United States and northern Mexico. Being an aquatic species, during brumation it buries itself in the mud of the body of water it inhabits.
  • Hognose Snake (Heterodon platihirnos): It is found in Mexico and the United States. During winter, they bruman in deep burrows or under tree trunks.
  • Overo lizard or Argentine tego (Salvator merianae): He is a native of Argentina. During cold months, they burrow into burrows that they build themselves or that other animals have abandoned.

Difference between brumation and hibernation

Brumation is often confused with hibernation. Although both involve a state of lethargy in organisms, it is not the same. Let's see here some differences between hibernation and brumation:

  • During hibernation the animals cannot wake up from the state of lethargy, while in brumation, if the thermal conditions change, the animals can come out of this state.
  • In hibernation, animals survive on the nutritional reserves they have stored before beginning torpor. The same does not happen in brumation, since animals can wake up to ingest water and, in some cases, food.
  • Hibernation occurs in mammals while brumation occurs in reptiles and amphibians.

Here you can learn more about Which animals hibernate and why they do so.

If you want to read more articles similar to Brumation: what it is and examples of animals, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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