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Word of the Week: Brumation

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Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!

The word of the week is Brumation [BREW+MAY+SHUN] (noun): a hibernation-like state of sluggishness or inactivity exhibited by cold-blooded animals during winter or extended periods of low temperature.

Animals in brumation typically wake up to drink water and might shift before returning to sleep. Some animals that brumate include some types of frogs, snakes, lizards, and turtles. Frogs, for instance, brumate at the bottom of the water bodies they inhabit, well under the frozen top layer.

Cold-blooded animals have slower metabolisms when they brumate. This means they need lesser oxygen than usual. Cold water has more dissolved oxygen than at warmer temperatures, thus benefitting animals that brumate under water.

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