20 Animals That Hibernate Besides Bears

Bears aren't the only ones who sleep all winter.

groundhog and hedgehog

It's easy to want to hibernate in your house until winter’s over. Unfortunately, humans can’t truly hibernate, but we’re totally jealous of the animals who can.

When you think of hibernation, you probably think of bears. But there are lots of other animals who do it, too.

Check out this list of animals that hibernate and what they actually do during hibernation.

What is hibernation?

Hibernation is a sleep state (aka torpor) when an animal’s heart rate, breathing and metabolism slow way down so they can stay warm and conserve energy. Some animals do this during cold weather months when food sources are scarce or dry seasons when there’s little water. With all their bodily functions slowed down, they’re able to survive for long periods of time without food by using up stored fat in their bodies.

Do bears hibernate?

Bears are the classic example of animals who hibernate, so you might be surprised to learn that their long winter sleep technically isn’t actually considered hibernating by some since their body temperature stays high.

Bears also don’t wake up from their torpor state as frequently as other animals. Bears can go around 100 days without waking up, eating or going to the bathroom!

However, bears’ bodily functions slow to around the same speed as other animals who hibernate, so their sleeping period is pretty similar.

20 animals that hibernate

Aside from bears, here are 20 other animals who hibernate. (The reptiles in this list technically do something called brumating, but it’s basically the reptile version of hibernation.)

1. Bats

Martin Janca/Shutterstock.com

2. Bumblebees

bumblebee on leaf
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3. Chipmunks

chipmunk on branch
Tatsuya Nishizaki/Shutterstock.com

4. Common poorwill

bird on branch

5. Ground squirrels

squirrel in a hole

6. Fat-tailed dwarf lemurs

fat tailed lemur
Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

7. Deer mice

deer mouse
Karel Bock/Shutterstock.com

8. Groundhogs

groundhog poking out of hole
Bahadir Yeniceri/Shutterstock.com

9. Hedgehogs

hedgehog on log
supakrit tirayasupasin/Shutterstock.com

10. Ladybugs

ladybug on leaf
PHOTO FUN/Shutterstock.com

11. Land snails


12. Marmots

marmots on rock
Christopher Broman Tak/Shutterstock.com

13. Prairie dogs

prairie dog
Petr Bonek/Shutterstock.com

14. Raccoons

raccoon with flower
Agnieszka Bacal/Shutterstock.com

15. Skunks

skunk in grass
Jemini Joseph/Shutterstock.com

16. Woodchucks

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17. Box turtles

box turtle
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18. Wood frogs

wood frog
Viktor Loki/Shutterstock.com

19. Snakes

snake coiled up
K Quinn Ferris/Shutterstock.com

20. Edible dormice

edible dormouse on branch
Geza Farkas/Shutterstock.com

What do animals do when they hibernate?

You might think animals are just taking an extra-long nap when they hibernate, but animals don’t actually sleep when they’re hibernating.

During hibernation, animals cool their bodies by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with some even getting below freezing temperatures!

And they don’t stay in their torpor state for the entire time. They periodically wake up to warm up their bodies, kind of like having a restless sleep.

Which animal hibernates the longest?

The winner for longest hibernation goes to the edible dormouse. They can hibernate for up to eleven months!

It’s wild to think about what happens when animals hibernate — animals are pretty amazing.