Why do frogs go into hibernation in winter?

Frog is a cold blooded amphibian the temperature of whose body always remains equal to the atmospheric temperature. It can neither tolerate the extreme heat of summer nor the biting cold of winter and so the frog goes into hibernation whenever there are such extremes of climate. Before hibernating, the frog goes underground, as there is no safety of his life in the open on Earth. As it is, it does not get enough food in the form of insects in dry weather. It is also impossible to carry forward its lineage silence its spawn that is in the form of jelly immediately starts drying up and withering in dry weather.
Frog ready to hibernate
Thus, the survival of frogs is mostly dependent on monsoon. When the monsoon starts receding and the puddles start drying up, a frog would push itself into the marsh with its hind legs. (See photo above.) Once they reach a depth of about 30 to 35 centimeters, they stop and then make a hollow twice the size of their bodies by pressing the surrounding soft but solid mud. After adopting a comfortable position, the frog puts its respiration to low gear. It reduces its heartbeats gradually. After some time its heart and lungs function only as much as is necessary for its survival. The frog slowly slips into the stage of deep sleep known as hibernation. The biological functions of its body slow down completely and so the frog has no need for nutrition. The fat stored in its body is enough for its survival. It does not even need water, since just two weeks before entering into hibernation its skin automatically becomes loose and covers it (leaving only its nostrils free for breathing) up like polyethylene and this covering stops the moisture of its body from evaporating into the atmosphere. Since it does not have to replace lost moisture it has no need for water.
Months pass in hibernation. When the first rains of monsoon hits the ground, the frog breaks its long sleep. The heartbeats become normal once again. The frog then breaks open the covering and comes out onto the Earth and first of all breaks its months-long fast by ingesting a lot of insects.

Additional reading:
Hibernation (Wikipedia)

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *