Hibernation (synonym: numbness, natural hibernate) - specific adaptation of the organism of some animals to adverse environmental conditions, expressed in the decline of his life. Hibernation begins with decreasing temperature and hunger in winter (hibernation) or at drying water bodies, soil and plants that serve as a food source (summer hibernation). Hibernation is characterized by a sharp decrease in the intensity of metabolism, respiration, circulation, leading to efficient use of energy resources, in particular fat reserves. Most clearly hibernation expressed at bats, hedgehogs, rodents - marmots, gophers, jerboas, hamsters and other Less deeply flows from hibernation bears, badgers.
Hibernation determines the seasonal prevalence in the nature of some human pathogens in accordance with the characteristics of the annual cycle of activity of various animal species. At the end of hibernation animal pathogen of the disease (for example, a plague in the body of gophers and Surkov) starts to multiply, leading to the development of the epidemic.
Studying the phenomenon of hibernation in animals is of great importance in the solution of some questions of space biology and medicine (see hibernate artificial).
Cm. also suspended Animation.