Sleeping Animals that are as Shutdown as the Government

While our government is still hibernating, I wanted to highlight some fascinating ways wildlife “shutdown”.

8 Random Facts About Animal “Shutdowns”

1. Eastern box turtles spend nights concealed in a shallow depression in soil or leaf litter. They not only sleep and hibernate in the litter, but also tunnel through it. Also -when they “shutdown” they are completely covered.

Box Turtle (Photo by Brian Hefele)
This Eastern box turtle is closed. (Photo by Brian Hefele)
2. Fawns instinctively lie motionless when approached by a potential predator. Don’t be alarmed if you find them alone. Does will often leave young fawns to avoid attracting predators to their location.

Resting fawn (Photo by Maureen Smith/NWF)
Very still fawn. (Photo by Maureen P. Smith/NWF)
3.  To avoid overheating during the day, sea lions will take refuge from the sun under vegetation, rocks, and cliffs. There is no waking these two.

Sea lion and pup sleeping on rocks of Galapagos Islands. Photo by Robert Miller.
Sea lion and pup sleeping on rocks of Galapagos Islands. (Photo by Robert Miller)
4.  Gray squirrels do not hibernate, nor do they store a lot of body fat– so this is why they collect and scatter, and hoard thousands of acorns. This one is not hurt- just trying to stay cool.

Squirrel attempting to stay cool. (Photo by kgnixer)
5. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal but can occasionally be seen active during the day. The one pictured below really isn’t a good example of that though.

Raccoon (Photo Donated by Linda Perala)
Raccoon enjoying a snooze in the pines. (Photo Donated by Linda Perala)
6.  A wolf’s  winter fur is highly resistant to cold. Wolves in northern climates can rest comfortably in open areas at −40° by placing their muzzles between the rear legs and covering their faces with their tail.

Sleeping Yellowstone wolves (Photo by Beth Pratt/NWF)
Sleeping in Yellowstone. (Photo by Beth Pratt/NWF)
7. Elephant seals may actually sleep while they are on the move. Though this one clearly isn’t going anywhere.

This elephant seal looks exhausted. (Photo by Beth Pratt)
This elephant seal looks exhausted. (Photo by Beth Pratt/NWF)
8. Indiana bats hibernate in special sites called hibernacula (what a cool name!).

Indiana bats resting. (Photo by Ann Froschauer/USFWS)
Indiana bats resting. (Photo by Ann Froschauer/USFWS)

Additional Sleepy Resources:

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Published: October 11, 2013