The Science Of Hibernation: From Frozen Frogs To Hanging Bats

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Hibernating bats are seen in an abandoned limestone mine in Rosendale, N.Y.  (AP)
Hibernating bats in an abandoned limestone mine in Rosendale, N.Y. (AP)

Did you know that some frogs freeze solid each winter? Or that black bears hold their bladder until spring? It's part of a deep hibernation mode, when critters from bats to skunks partly shut down their bodies to conserve energy through the winter.

Although it may look like they are sleeping, hibernators are actually sleep-deprived and some, like the chipmunk, rouse themselves out of hibernation to warm up and take a nap.

McGill University's associate wildlife biology professor, Murray Humphries, explains how hibernators survive the winter, and whether humans have the capacity to hibernate in the future.

This segment aired on February 1, 2011.


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