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Biology, Uncategorized

Mini post: Winter survival strategies

Humans have the ability to bundle up when the weather gets cold, but how do different animals get through the cold and snow? There are many different strategies for winter survival, and most animals will do more than one. Here are three different animals and their strategies for dealing with winter.

Snowy owl Photo: Tai Munro

Snowy owls migrate in the winter, wintering in southern Canada and Northern US. They also have down and feathers covering their legs and feet. They also may hide behind windbreaks in high wind.

Mule deer Photo: Tai Munro

Ungulates like deer and elk add some fat and grow winter coats that are longer and help trap air, which is warmer due to body heat. They also tend to be less active to conserve energy.

Black-capped chickadee Photo: Tai Munro

Black-capped chickadees (which weigh as much as a couple batteries), have food stores, protected roosts, and fluffier feathers. But the most interesting is that they go into nightly hypothermia, dropping their body temperature by almost 10°C to conserve energy overnight.

About Tai Munro

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities.

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