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Brumation in Reptiles

Why is it in the news?

  • The article delves into brumation in reptiles, highlighting its role in aiding survival during harsh winter conditions.

 About Brumation

  • Brumation is a physiological state of dormancy observed in reptiles, akin to hibernation in mammals.
  • It typically occurs during colder months when temperatures drop, daylight decreases, and food becomes scarce, prompting reptiles to enter a period of reduced activity and metabolic slowdown.
  • The primary purpose of brumation is to enable reptiles to conserve energy resources. By substantially reducing their metabolic rate and overall activity levels, reptiles can endure extended periods without food and survive harsh environmental conditions.
  • During brumation, reptiles often seek out specific habitats that offer stable environmental conditions conducive to dormancy which include underground burrows, rock crevices, or other sheltered locations.
  • Brumation behaviour has been observed across various reptilian species, including turtles, snakes, and lizards.
  • The duration of brumation can vary widely among reptile species and is influenced by factors such as temperature, photoperiod (day length), and individual metabolic rates.
  • In some cases, brumation may last for several weeks or months, with reptiles emerging from dormancy once environmental conditions become more favorable for activity and feeding.

 

AspectHibernationEstivationBrumation
DefinitionWinter dormancy state in warm-blooded mammals with reduced metabolism and lowered body temperature due to cold and scarce food.Summer dormancy in response to high temperatures and dry conditions, observed in various animals.Winter dormancy state in cold-blooded reptiles and amphibians, particularly in temperate regions, due to cold temperatures.
ExamplesBears, bats, and certain rodents.Amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates such as snails and earthworms.Snakes, turtles, and lizards.

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