Difference between Aestivation and Hibernation

Animals opt for different resting pattern based on the climate and their stage of life. They actively choose this to conserve their energy, primarily during harsh and extreme weather. This sleeping pattern is divided into two subtypes, hibernation and aestivation.

Hibernation happens during the winter season. Here animals stay in dormant condition during low temperature. On the other hand, aestivation occurs during the summer season. During high temperature, animals stay inactive to save energy.

What is Hibernation?

Hibernation Definition qualifies it as a state of sleep or inactivity noted in endotherms. This process is also known as winter sleep, as it occurs during the winter or low-temperature season. Furthermore, slow breathing and heart rate characterise this state, which results in a low metabolic rate.

Among the list of animals that hibernate, rodents are considered as the deepest hibernators. Other than that, birds, insects, fishes, and mammals also undergo hibernation at different points.

Some of the hibernate animals names are bats, bear, turtles, fishes, rats, etc.

To define hibernation further, the primary purpose of an animal to select this state is to conserve their energy and save themselves from starvation during harsh weather. However, hibernation can differ based on four points, these are –

  • The species.

  • The time of the year.

  • Type of animal.

  • Tolerance power of that species. 

Furthermore, hibernation can last for different time-period; it can be days, weeks, or months. However, before going into this dormant state, animals store energy and necessary food to sustain the period. 

What is Aestivation?

Aestivation definition mentions that it is also a state of sleep, but it occurs in a different time. Animals go through this period during summer or hot-temperature season. Primarily, animals in the tropical region or desert areas opt for this technique for their survival.

Aestivation meaning shows that it takes place during the summer or dry season and extreme heat. Both vertebrates and invertebrates undergo this process to save themselves from high temperature and the risk of desiccation. Similar to hibernation, animals opt for this process to save energy and retain water in their body. 

Moreover, aestivation examples primarily include reptiles and amphibians. However, an interesting example of this process is lungfish. It is capable of surviving in this condition for up to three years. 

Additionally, aestivation in plants is also present, such as guava.

Difference between Hibernation and Aestivation

Here is some significant difference between hibernation and aestivation –

  1. Time of occurrence

The dormant state of hibernation is witnessed in animals during the winter season. Therefore, it is called winter sleep. On the other hand, the inactive state of aestivation occurs during the summer. Thus, it is called summer sleep.

  1. Duration

Typically, animals stay in the state of hibernation for the entire winter season. It is primarily due to the harsh and cold weather. For instance, fishes go to deep water during this period to save themselves from freezing. 

However, aestivation can be of short and long duration. During this inactive state, the energy consumption in animals reduces by 70-90times compared to their active state. 

  1. Resting place

During hibernation and aestivation, animals look for two completely different places to stay protected. In hibernation, they look for warm and cosy places, so that they can stay warm. In contrast, during aestivation animal searches for cool and moist places.

  1. Importance

Hibernation and aestivation have similar importance; they save animals from harsh weather conditions. Hibernation allows animals to stay indoors and protect themselves from freezing outside. Similarly, aestivation enables animals to remain indoors and save themselves from water loss and sustain the harsh season.

Hibernation and aestivation are two similar processes, and their purpose is to protect animals from harsh weather. If you wish to learn more about these topics, or of any other chapter of biology, you can download the Vedantu app to access more study materials. Moreover, you can also attend our online interactive live classes via this app,

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the other name of winter sleep?

Winter sleep noted among animals is called hibernation. Here, animals find a warm place during winter and stay inactive or in rest throughout the season. Animals go through this process to save themselves from the harsh weather.

2. Why do some animals hibernate in winter?

Animals hibernate during winter to protect themselves from the harsh weather. Additionally, this process lowers its metabolic rate and save energy to sustain the winter.

3. What is the other name of Summer sleep is called?

Summer sleep witnessed among animals is termed as aestivation. During the harsh summer season, animals find a cold and moist place and stay while sleeping. The purpose here is to save themselves from the bad weather outside.