For this week’s investigation, we’re going to be looking to the weird and wacky world of hibernation.
Here at Wand of Science we all love a good sleep. Sleeping is what gives us the chance to dream and have great new ideas that we can share with all of you.
But, sleeping and hibernation are two very different things; hopefully, with the help of Wanda, we’ll be able to show that difference. What do you reckon, Wanda, should we teach these nice readers about hibernation?
Wanda, are you still sleeping? I know it’s been a while since our last lesson but surely you’ve not been sleeping this whole time?
WAKE UP WANDA – IT’S TIME TO DO SOME LEARNING.
: Aaaahhhh! Where am I? Why do I feel strange? I’m hungry…so hungry
There’s our lady! Asleep for nearly a year, no wonder you’re hungry – it looks like you’ve learnt quite a bit about hibernation already!
: Why are my clothes different? I smell weird…what have you done?
Enough silly chat – now let’s learn about why animals like:
and silly little Fairies feel the need to sleep for months and months on end.
: Those pictures are scary…what happened to you – you’ve changed?
Hibernation is known as a state of inactivity by scientific types. It occurs in endotherms (that’s animals like me and dirty animals like you who get all hot and bothered all the time) when they need to sleep through the nasty cold winter and wake up for lovely warm summer.
: Did you just call me-
You see, sometimes animals live in areas where the winters are just too cold to live through. There’s not enough food around and their fur’s not thick enough to keep them all warm and toasty, so they bury themselves in the ground and just have a lovely old nap.
They sleep and sleep all through the snows and rain. If they’re lucky a big old hand will come and visit them to keep them clean and dressed, maybe even give them a little haircut – in case they’re getting too hot.
: My hai-…you didn’t. I thought I was safe. How could you…all my HAAAIIIRRR.
Oh dear…it looks like Wanda’s not much up to learning about hibernation today – maybe she just needs to go back in her hole for a little longer.
Some special brown juice will make her ready for sleep; the bears, mice-deer and wood frogs don’t get this. She’s a very lucky Fairy.
: Please don’t, I want to-
Shush now, drink it down. Back to sleep. Where you belong. In your hole.