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A potential hibernaculum

Hibernaculum plural form: hibernacula (Latin, "tent for winter quarters") is a word used in zoology to refer to a place of abode in which a creature seeks refuge, such as a bear using a cave to overwinter.[1][2] Insects may hibernate to survive the winter. The word can be used to describe a variety of shelters made by various animals, for instance, bats and snakes.

A related word used in English is hibernation, which is a form of dormancy that is a mechanism used by animals to escape the cold weather and food shortage of the winter. Hibernation can be predictive or consequential in form. The animal begins to prepare for hibernation by building up thick layer of body fat during late summer and autumn which will provide it with energy during the dormant period. The animal undergoes many physiological changes, including decreased heart rate (by as much as 95%) and decreased body temperature. Some examples of animals that hibernate include: bats, ground squirrels and other rodents, mouse lemurs, hedgehogs, and other insectivores (including frogs, some spiders, hornets, swallows, anteaters), marsupials (mammals that give birth to live young), and monotremes (mammals that lay eggs).



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