10 Hibernating Animals Climate Change Could Wake Up (Slideshow)

hibernating hedgehogs photo

Photo credit: Martin Ruegner/Getty Images

Just like disturbances wake you up, they wake up the animal kingdom -- often with dire results.

Hibernation, simply, is a state of inactivity in animals. It is typically characterized by a drop in metabolic activity—a physical slowing of the body—in addition to lower body temperature and slower breathing.

Indeed, hibernation is a sleep deeper than most humans could imagine, but it is not impervious to interruption. Increasingly, changes brought into nature by the modern world are unsettling hibernating animals during a time of the year when they are most vulnerable.

10 Hibernating Animals Climate Change Could Wake Up slideshow

10 Hibernating Animals Climate Change Could Wake Up (Slideshow)
Just like disturbances wake you up, they wake up the animal kingdom -- often with dire results.

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