Along with the enchanting sights and sounds that summertime brings, comes a whole host of sun loving animals.
After staying asleep all winter, these critters are the first to come out to play as soon as the weather starts heating up!
Usually only the queen bee survives the winter and after hibernating from anywhere between 6-8 months at a time, hiding in either a hole in the soil, under leaf mulch or inside a rotten tree stump, she finally emerges. She doesn’t hang around before finding herself a nice little spot to build a nest and form a whole new army of worker bees. It’s no surprise that these busy bees love the sun since they thrive on pollinating crops and wildflowers that are in full flourish in the summer months.
Did you know? – Bumblebees are dangerously on the decline from all sorts of pollutants and pesticides.
2. Box Turtles
Depending on which part of the U.S. box turtles call home, their winter sleep can last anywhere up to 154 days, during which time their heart beats just once every 5-10 minutes. They are super sensitive animals, and if they try to join in on the summer fun too early they will likely not survive. What makes the box turtle extra awesome is their incredible ability to hide from danger within their regenerating hinged shell which they can clamp shut to keep out even the most determined of predators.
Did you know? – Box turtles can live to be over 100 years of age and have been on the earth for more than 2 million years.
Not many animals sleep deeper than these spiky little fellows. Commonly found in Europe, Asia, Africa and New Zealand, hedgehogs sleep the whole winter through without waking up once, in order to cope with the scarcity of available food. They normally maintain a constant body temperature of around 35 degrees centigrade, but the onset of winter sees this drop to a chilling 6 degrees centigrade! Luckily their bodies are filled with plenty of special cells that release heat 20 times faster than white cells, keeping them warm and toasty.
Did you know? – Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets and mommy hedgehogs have around 4-5 hoglets in a litter.
Primarily found in North America, Asia and Europe, badgers are nocturnal animals that love nothing more than frolicking around in the warm summer evenings. Over the winter months, they store enough food in their burrows to wake up and eat, before heading straight back into their slumber. Dining on a selection of both animal and plant food, badgers are omnivorous animals that feast on several hundred earthworms every night. These social creatures live together in huge underground setts inherited from their parents that feature a series of interlocking tunnels with several entrances, nest chambers and toilets. They are constantly refining and expanding their setts, some of which are centuries old!
Did you know? – Badgers are ferocious animals that will even pick a fight with a bear or wolf.
Hibernating in clusters and sleeping in cracks or creeks in the wood, moths must undergo both physiological and behavioral adaptations to survive the treacherous winter months, each of which occurs at a different stage in the moth’s life cycle. When the sun finally returns and the flowers begin to bloom once again, moths and their equally impressive counterparts, butterflies, are the first to tuck into the summer’s delights.
Did you know? – A male moth can smell a female more than 7 miles away!