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Why do bears sleep in the winter?

Olga Kravchenko
Olga Kravchenko
February 24, 2015
Why do bears sleep in the winter?

It's no secret that bears sleep in winter. This is perhaps one of the most famous and interesting features of bears. But why do bears sleep in the winter, and how exactly does this happen?

Causes of bears hibernation

Not all bears fall into hibernation, but only those who live in regions with long cold winters and a lot of snow.

The main reason for winter sleeping bears is related to their nutrition. The fact is that bears are extremely large animals, the weight of some representatives reaches 700 kg.

Food for such a huge animal requires a lot. Despite the fact that the bear is almost omnivorous, with the onset of cold weather, it begins to have great difficulties with food. It is almost impossible to find vegetable food under a layer of snow, and it is much more difficult to hunt in winter.

In addition, in the cold season, the energy costs increase greatly, because the animal also needs energy for heating.

That is why with the onset of cold weather bears choose a safe place and go to bed. Hibernation can last from 4 to 6 months.All this time, the bear exists due to the reserves of subcutaneous fat accumulated over the summer.

During hibernation, the animal's body works differently. Energy requirements are reduced to a minimum, the respiratory rate changes, which saves air in a den. In this state, a bear can sleep for many months without endangering its life. Bear cubs appear in the dens of the bear; they spend the winter with her, feeding on her milk.

Bears are very sensitive sleep, so they can wake up even a slight noise. Sleepy hungry bear is a serious threat to forest tranquility. Bears-rods are very aggressive and fierce.

Not all types of bears sleep in winter. For example, in white Arctic bears, only pregnant bears and females with cubs hibernate - their energy costs are very high. Males stay awake, eating nutritious fat and meat.

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