What do bears actually do during hibernation?

What do bears actually do during hibernation?

They lower their body temperature 8-12 degrees, and they break down fat stores for energy. Some protein is used as well, but bears largely conserve their muscle mass and thus do not become appreciably weaker during hibernation. Bears do wake up, however, and move around inside the den.

What do bears do before hibernation?

During the fall months, bears eat and drink nearly nonstop. They need to put on weight to prepare for winter and hibernation. This process is called hyperphagia. During hyperphagia, bears are very active and many visitors have a chance to see them in action.

What three things happen in a bear’s body during hibernation?

Their breathing and heart rates slow. Their body also starts to burn calories slower. These changes allow the bear to survive longer on its own body fat. Bears use up much of their body fat during hibernation.

How long do bears hibernate without waking up?

Bears don’t wake from hibernation with a spring in their step. They’re groggy and in a state of walking hibernation for two to three weeks. During this period, their metabolisms haven’t quite kicked back in. It’s a myth that they wake up ravenous; it takes them weeks to find a nearby carcass remotely palatable.

How do black bears hibernate?

During hibernation a bear’s heart rate drops to as slow as 8 beats per minute. Bears sleep in dens they dig out in hollowed-out tree cavities, under logs or rocks, caves, banks and shallow depressions. Bears hibernate without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating.

How Long Do bears sleep in hibernation?

Black bears can hibernate for up to seven and a half months without drinking water, eating food or defecating. Grizzly bears typically hibernate between five to seven months. Mexican Black Bears usually do not hibernate at all or will hibernate for just a few weeks out of the year.

How do bears hibernate facts?

How do bears know when to come out of hibernation?

An animal in a dark burrow can’t feel warmer temperatures, or sense longer days. The signal to wake up comes from inside. Hibernators have an internal clock, a series of chemical reactions controlled by the hypothalamus of the animal’s brain. External signals set the clock.

Do bears use the bathroom during hibernation?

Grizzly bears and black bears generally do not eat, drink, defecate, or urinate during hibernation. Bears live off of a layer of fat built up during the summer and fall months prior to hibernation. Waste products are produced, however, instead of disposing of their metabolic waste, bears recycle it.

What happens if a bear wakes up during hibernation?

For hibernating animals, an early wake-up call isn’t just an inconvenience—it can be downright lethal. Waking up from hibernation requires a lot of energy, depleting reserves that are key to surviving the winter. It’s not just bears that are in danger if they wake up from hibernation at the wrong time.

Do bears go to the bathroom when they hibernate?

How do bears hibernate without food?

Hibernating bears enter a shallow torpor with a decrease in body temperature of only 10 degrees. It’s metabolism and hear rate slows down. But it doesn’t need to eat, drink or pass waste. In order to survive, fat in the bear’s body breaks down into water and calories for the body to use.

Are black bears true hibernators?

The fact is that black bears in the Smoky Mountains, unlike some of their northern cousins, are not true hibernators at all. The entire point of hibernation is to allow an animal to store energy when the temperature drops and natural food sources become more scarce.

When do bears wake up from hibernation?

When spring arrives and the snow begins to melt, bears start to wake up after months of hibernation. It is an exciting time of the year for bears and park visitors. When bears emerge from their dens, understandably hungry, they immediately begin to search for food.

Do bears truly hibernate?

Though they are dormant through this task, it is quite involved and extremely vital to the survival of bears. Bears all perform hibernation a little differently. In fact, bears do not truly hibernate the way other mammals might do so. But all bears that do hibernate do so for the same reasons.

What do bears do when they hibernate?


  • Chipmunks
  • Skunks
  • Snakes
  • Groundhogs
  • Bees