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In this PDF you’ll find a quiz about the winter strategies used by some different animals. You can print out the quiz and complete it on paper, or go ahead and fill it out on your computer or tablet! When you’re done, check your answers using the Answer Key on the final page.
Hibernation occurs when an animal enters a deep sleep for the entire winter. Animals that hibernate eat extra food during the fall to store up fat before winter begins. When it’s time to hibernate, the animal drops its body temperature by 20°C or more and slows its heart rate and breathing in order to use less energy.
Brumation is a state of inactivity that cold-blooded creatures enter during winter. Think of this as hibernation for reptiles and amphibians. During extended cold periods, their bodies produce high levels of sugar and slow or shutdown their internal processes. Some animals can even freeze!
Diapause occurs when insects pause their development to prepare for winter. Some insects stop all body processes and sometimes freeze until the weather warms up in the spring, at which point they go back to their regular development.
Torpor is a state that some animals enter during the winter. Similar to hibernation, the animal lowers its body temperature and slows its breathing and heart rate. However, animals that use torpor during the winter may wake up occasionally or regularly to hunt, eat and defecate. Some animals are also able to go in and out of torpor regularly, like when it gets very cold at night.
Migration is the act of moving from one place to another. Some creatures migrate to a warmer location when the weather gets too cold. They may travel alone or in large groups to areas where food is plentiful.
Adaptation to winter weather can take many different forms. Some animals adapt to their colder environment by growing more feathers or thicker fur, and some change colour to make it easier to hide in the snow. Many creatures gather extra food in the fall and store it away to nibble on later. They may also find a nice spot to shelter from the cold weather where they can huddle close together to stay warm.