Hibernation


Hibernation

:"For the ability of certain operating systems, see Hibernate (OS feature)"Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate. Hibernation conserves energy, especially during winter. Hibernation may last several days, or weeks depending on species, ambient temperature, and time of year. The typical winter season for a hibernator is characterized by periods of hibernation interrupted by sporadic euthermic arousals wherein body temperature is restored to typical values. Hibernation allows animals to conserve energy during the winter when food is short. During hibernation, animals drastically lower their metabolism so as to tap energy reserves stored as body fat at a slower rate.

Hibernating animals

Animals that hibernate include bats, some species of ground squirrels and other rodents, mouse lemurs, the West European Hedgehog and other insectivores, monotremes and marsupials. Even some rattlesnakes, such as the Western Diamondback, are known to hibernate in caves every winter. Historically, Pliny the Elder believed that swallows hibernated, and ornithologist Gilbert White pointed to anecdotal evidence in "The Natural History of Selborne" that indicated as much. Birds typically do not hibernate, instead utilizing torpor. However the Common Poorwill does hibernate. [Jaeger, E.C. 1948. "Does the poorwill hibernate?" "Condor" 50:45-46.] Many experts believe that the processes of daily torpor and hibernation form a continuum.Fact|date=February 2007

One animal that some famously consider a hibernator is the bear, although bears do not go into "true hibernation". [ [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/satoyama/hibernation.html Secrets of Hibernation; nova, pbs.org] ] During a bear's winter sleep state, the degree of metabolic depression is much less than that observed in smaller mammals. Many prefer to use the term "denning". The bear's body temperature remains relatively stable (depressed from 37 °C to approximately 31 °C; about 98.6° to 88 °F) and it can be easily aroused. In contrast, hibernating ground squirrels may have core body temperatures as low as -2 °C (about 28 °F). Some reptile species are said to brumate, or undergo brumation, but the connection to this phenomenon with hibernation is not clear.

Before entering hibernation most species eat a large amount of food and store energy in fat deposits in order to survive the winter. Some species of mammals hibernate while gestating young, which are born shortly after the mother stops hibernating.

For a couple of generations during the 20th century it was thought that basking sharks settled to the floor of the North Sea and hibernated; however, research by Dr David Sims in 2003 dispelled this hypothesis, [cite journal|title=Seasonal movements and behavior of basking sharks from archival tagging|journal=Marine Ecology Progress Series|issue=248|pages=187–196|date=2003] showing that the sharks actively traveled huge distances throughout the seasons, tracking the areas with the highest quantity of plankton.

The epaulette sharks have been documented to be able to survive for long periods of time without oxygen, even being left high and dry, and at temperatures of up to 26 °C. [cite journal|title=A Shark With an Amazing Party Trick|journal=New Scientist|volume=177|issue=2385|pages=46|date=8 March 2003|url=http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/innews/sharktrick2003.htm|accessdate=2006-10-06] Other animals able to survive long periods without oxygen include the goldfish, the red-eared slider turtle, the wood frog, and the bar-headed goose. [ [http://www.papimi.gr/breathless.htm Breathless: A shark with an amazing party trick is teaching doctors how to protect the brains of stroke patients.] Douglas Fox, New Scientist vol 177 issue 2385 - 8 March 2003, page 46. Last accessed November 9, 2006. ]

Until recently no primate, and no tropical mammal, was known to hibernate. However, animal physiologist Kathrin Dausmann of Philipps University of Marburg, Germany, and coworkers presented evidence in the 24 June 2004 edition of Nature that the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur of Madagascar hibernates in tree holes for seven months of the year. This is interesting because Malagasy winter temperatures sometimes rise to over 30 °C (86 °F), so hibernation is not exclusively an adaptation to low ambient temperatures. The hibernation of this lemur is strongly dependent on the thermal behavior of its tree hole: if the hole is poorly insulated, the lemur's body temperature fluctuates widely, passively following the ambient temperature; if well insulated, the body temperature stays fairly constant and the animal undergoes regular spells of arousal. Dausmann found that hypometabolism in hibernating animals is not necessarily coupled to a low body temperature.

Noise and vibration from snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and the like is said to sometimes awaken hibernating animals, who may suffer severely or die as a result of premature awakening in times of food shortage.Fact|date=February 2007

Human hibernation

There are many research projects currently investigating how to achieve "induced hibernation" in humans. [ [http://www.livescience.com/health/050421_hibernation.html Hibernation] ] [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1845294.ece Times Online] ] The ability for humans to hibernate would be useful for a number of reasons, such as saving the lives of seriously ill or injured people by temporarily putting them in a state of hibernation until treatment can be given (compare induced coma). NASA is also interested in possibly putting astronauts in hibernation when going on very long space journeys, making it possible one day to visit far away stars.

Erika Nordby, a toddler of 13 months in Edmonton, Alberta, wandered outside her family home on February 23, 2001. The outside temperature was -24°C (-11°F). When she was found, her heart had stopped beating for two hours and her internal body temperature had fallen to 16°C (61°F). Other sources say there was a slow pulse of 30 beats per minute but no blood circulation when paramedics arrived. In either event she was clinically dead. [A rescue from the cold." Shanda Deziel. "Maclean's". Toronto: March 12, 2001. Vol.114, Iss. 11; pg. 18, 1 pgs] She suffered severe frostbite, yet required no amputation and made a full recovery. ["Frozen toddler recovers." Anonymous. Current Science. Stamford: May 11, 2001. Vol.86, Iss. 16; pg. 12] ["After the miracle: Erika Nordby beat all the odds by surviving her night in the snow." Moher, Frank. Saturday Night. Toronto: June 9, 2001. Vol.116, Iss. 22; pg. 40]

In October 2006, a Japanese man, Mitsutaka Uchikoshi, was believed to have been in a "denning"-like state for three weeks. He had fallen asleep on a snowy mountain and claimed he had only woken up after being discovered 23 days later; doctors who treated him believed his internal body temperature had fallen to 22°C (71°F) during that period. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6197339.stm BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Japanese man in mystery survival ] ]

ee also

* Hibernation induction trigger
* Dormancy - a period when development is temporarily suspended
* Estivation - a state of dormancy similar to hibernation, except it is used in the summer
* Diapause - a state of metabolic dormancy that requires specific stimuli to trigger and release, which only occurs in insects.
* Suspended animation - also similar to hibernation, but induced artificially
* Torpor - regulated hypothermia for less than a day, often used by birds
* Sleep (non-human)

References

External links

* [http://www.fhcrc.org/about/ne/news/2005/04/21/roth.html Hibernation on Demand]
* [http://users.iab.uaf.edu/~brian_barnes/publications/1989barnes.pdf Freeze avoidance in a Mammal] : Body Temperatures Below 0 °C in an Arctic Hibernator
* [http://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/bio/pp/HypometabolicStasis.htm Prospects for Human Hibernation] : ESA Advanced Concepts Team
* [http://www.naturlink.pt/canais/Artigo.asp?iArtigo=4874&iCanal=1&iSubCanal=3557&iLingua=2 Hibernation]
* [http://www.icelift.com/english/ Human hibernation] : Human hibernation project - freezing for 50 years
* [http://www.alcor.org Brain hibernation] : Brain hibernation project


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • HIBERNATION — Par hibernation on entend la «manière de passer l’hiver». Il s’agit d’une faculté qu’ont certains êtres vivants de s’adapter aux conditions climatiques hivernales: abaissement de la température moyenne, réduction des heures d’éclairement,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hibernation — Hi ber*na tion, n. [Cf. F. hibernation.] The act or state of hibernating. Evelyn. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hibernation — ⇒ Winterschlaf …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • hibernation — • hibernation, vintervila, vintersömn …   Svensk synonymlexikon

  • hibernation — 1660s, from L. hibernationem (nom. hibernatio) the action of passing the winter, noun of action from pp. stem of hibernare to winter, pass the winter, occupy winter quarters; related to hiems winter, from PIE *gheim snow, winter (Cf. Skt. heman… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hibernation — Hérisson européen L’hibernation est un état d’hypothermie régulée, durant plusieurs jours ou semaines qui permet aux animaux de conserver leur énergie pendant l’hiver. Durant l’hibernation les animaux ralentissent leur métabolisme jusqu’à des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hibernation — Hi|ber|na|ti|on 〈f. 20〉 1. Überwinterung, Winterschlaf 2. 〈Med.〉 = Heilschlaf (2) [<lat. hibernatio „Überwinterung“; zu hibernare „im Winterquartier liegen“] * * * Hi|ber|na|ti|on, die; , en [lat. hibernatio = das Überwintern]: 1. (Biol.)… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Hibernation — Das Wort Hibernation bezeichnet in der Biologie die Überwinterung von Lebewesen im aktiven oder passiven Zustand (letzteres beispielsweise: Winterschlaf, Winterruhe, Winterstarre); Gegensatz: Ästivation (= Übersommerung, Überstehen der trocken… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • hibernation — See hibernate. * * * State of greatly slowed metabolism and low body temperature in winter in certain animals. True hibernators include many cold blooded animals and a few mammals (e.g., bats, hedgehogs) that go into a near dead state with a near …   Universalium

  • hibernation — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ long ▪ deep ▪ winter VERB + HIBERNATION ▪ go into ▪ At the first sign of colder weather many insects go into …   Collocations dictionary


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