Have you ever wondered how animals keep themselves warm and safe during winter? While humans have thick clothes, warm drinks, and awesome inventions, animals don’t really have access to these things. We can heat up our bodies by drinking hot cocoa or layering ourselves with warm and fuzzy coats. What about the fish in the cold Antarctic waters and Japanese Macaques in the snowy mountains?
Animals have different unusual methods to survive the harsh climate brought about by Mother Nature. Here is a list of 20 amazing ways which the animal kingdom utilizes in order to keep warm during the winter.
The common poorwill goes into a short period of light hibernation called torpor. In this state, the bird’s body temperature, heart rate, and even breathing declines. The poorwill can do this for a longer period of time until the snow melts enough for them to hunt for food.
Winters in the mountainous regions of Japan can be frigid. Japanese Macaques combat the cold with their thick fur and by bathing in hot springs. Scientists documented local macaques enjoying a hot bath in the spring of the Jigokudani valley of the Nagano prefecture. The American Journal of Primatology studied this behavior stating that it is “clearly influenced by the ambient air temperature.” Rafaela Takeshita of Kyoto University said that the snow monkeys’ unique habit shows their flexibility to counter cold-climates and stress.
In winter, you would hardly see mice or small rodents roaming around. A lot of us wonder where they go. We might assume that they go into hibernation. Actually, they use their skills and make some kind of an igloo. To stay warm, rodents would burrow to what is called the subnivean zone. This is a zone underneath the snow where the temperature is close to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aside from huddling together, emperor penguins have a unique way to keep themselves warm. It might seem counterintuitive but these penguins keep their feathers cooler than the freezing air around them.
So, the air surrounding the penguins might be sub-zero but it’s only their outer surface of the penguin’s body is actually cold.
Fish live in water, and water turns into ice once the temperature gets really low. Doesn’t that make you wonder how fish could survive? The deep ocean water doesn’t freeze solid, so the fish can still swim around. In addition to that, fishes utilize antifreeze proteins that they produce within their bodies. These proteins prevent ice crystals from growing within the fish’s body.
With the aid of antifreeze proteins, polar and subpolar marine bony fish can keep living under extremely cold conditions.