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winter coats
What Do Animals Do During Winter?
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What Do Animals Do During Winter?

The answer to the question "What do animals do during winter?" was a great lesson not only in learning the answer itself, but in geography and wildlife itself. There are a great many things that animals do during winter. I will cover a few here.


Whales, seals and penguins all have a large layer of fat, called blubber that helps insulate their bodies from cold water. Humpback whales travel south to tropical waters to mate and give birth during winter, thus escaping the cold. Macaroni Penguins leave Antartica and swim in frontal waters feeding for 7 whole months! Good thing they have blubber, that water is between 5 and 1 degree celcius! Brrrrrr


Some animals, like bears, hibernate during the long winter months. Hibernation is like a very long nap. When an animal hibernates, it does not eat, so it eats a lot the months leading up to it's super long nap. During hibernation, the bears live off their extra fat they stored up by eating so much. When they hibernate, they climb into a nice cozy cave to stay warm.

Winter Coat

Some animals, like horses, grow a winter coat. Their hair becomes thicker and longer to help protect them from the cold. This hair also keeps the heat in if it snows on them. Kind of like a thick blanket. They can also be seen standing under trees or in barns if there are any. If not, they huddle together.


Migration is when you travel from one place to another. Like humpback whales, birds migrate south to warmer areas for the winter. Other birds, like ducks and geese have a layer of small fluffy feathers underneath the feather you can see. These small feathers are called down. The protect against wetness when the birds land on the water and like blubber and winter coats, they help insulate the birds and keep them warm.

What about animals that don't have a "real winter", like lions? Lions are cool, let's learn something about them, too! Well, where lions live, there are really only two seasons, wet and dry. During winter, or the wet season, lions do very well. There is a lot of rain and with a lot of rain comes a lot of watering holes. During the dry season, or summer, all of the animals have to go to the same watering holes to drink and hunt for food. When you have very few places to hunt, that means that there are more predators all trying to hunt the same prey. And with more competition, the liklihood of going hungry is much higher. When it is rainy, and there are more watering holes and more places to hunt, less predators are competing for the same prey, thus improving the chances of a successful meal.

With all of my lessons for my kids, I try to incorporate an activity or crate to really get them engaged. We focused on lions for the craft portion of this lesson (lions are really cool). With it being fall and a plethura of leaves on the ground, a leaf lion was perfect!

With fall in full swing, and winter rapidly approaching, kids begin to question the world around them. What better way to encourage them to be activly engaged in a lesson or dialog than doing a fall craft?

Street Talk

Sounds like my winter lifestyle, lol

  about 9 years ago
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