Interesting Hibernation Facts
Hibernation occurs when an animal becomes inactive, or "sleeps," during the short, cold days of winter. Here are some interesting facts about hibernation:
- Hibernaculum is Latin for "winter quarters" and refers to where an animal hibernates, such as a cave or den.
- A hibernating animal has internal controls that prevent its body temperature from falling too low. If its temperature is too close to the freezing point, the animal will wake up.
- Artic squirrels can lower their body temperature to below freezing during hibernation.
- Some hibernating animals will wake up for short periods of time during hibernation to eat and relieve themselves. Other animals sleep through the entire winter.
- Some insects also hibernate and to keep warm, they find holes in the ground, under tree bark or in rotting logs.
- There is only one known bird species that hibernates - the Common Poorwill. This little brown speckled bird finds a sheltered area and hunkers down for up to five months.
The Importance of Saying "Thank You"
When you do or say something kind, do you hear the words or get a note to say, "thank you"? If so, does it make you feel good? Probably! A new research study found that people really like to get expressions of gratitude. The study also found that people who send the "thank you" messages tend to think it's not that big a deal.
But it turns out saying "thank you" is a big deal. The research was about saying thanks for doing something that affected the writer in some way. The recipients were really happy to get the letters. They didn't even care if the note was well-written. So if you would like to make your friends and family happy: Send them a message to say that you appreciate what they've done for you - whether it's a gift they've given you or help of some kind. Turns out saying "thank you" is an excellent way to have a positive effect that doesn't take much effort at all.
Wintery Fun Facts
- The arctic fox has a beautiful white (sometimes blue-gray) coat that acts as very effective winter camouflage. When the seasons change, the fox's coat changes as well to a brown or gray color depending on the season. This provides cover among the summer tundra's rocks and plants.
- Aomori City in northern Japan receives more snowfall than any major city in the world. Each year the citizens are slammed with an average of 312 inches, or about 26 feet, of snow on average.
- Plants actually require exposure to cold winter temperatures in order to begin flowering again the following spring - this process is known as "vernalization."
- The lowest temperature ever recorded was at Vostok Station in Antarctica. On July 21, 1983, it was minus 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
- At minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the condensation from your breath can actually freeze - it will not evaporate. Instead of a little cloud that quickly evaporates, your breath at minus 40 degrees will look like smoke.