How do plants and animals handle the cold?


Brrr! Have you noticed that it’s getting colder outside? As the winter weather comes in, are you the type of person who wants to get out and play in the snow, or the type that would rather stay inside with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate? Just like you, different species have different ways to deal with the cold. Check out these examples:


This is for the animals that just don’t want to deal with winter. They head to places with warmer weather and wait out the cold—just like those of us who like to take tropical vacations over the winter break! Many birds are big fans of the winter escape, so if your favourite bird is missing in the winter, this could be why.


Do you ever get a little extra sleepy in the winter? Does the outside darkness make you yawn? Well, certain animals feel the same way, and these guys take a long snooze until the weather warms up! Some animals, like bears, wake up to stretch once in a while. Other animals, like raccoons, wake up for snacks.


We can’t all travel or sleep through the winter, so many of us adapt to the cold with warm coats, boots and toques! Some animals do this too, including wolves, bison, foxes, and even our pet cats and dogs! They grow nice thick winter coats that protect them from the cold weather! See if you can spot an animal adapting to the cold this winter!


Animals aren’t the only ones that find a way to deal with the cold. Plants do too! Many deciduous trees go dormant in the winter. Just like the way animals hibernate, these trees pretty much take a long sleep. They stop using their energy for food, and rest until the weather is warmer. This is why they don’t need leaves in the winter!

Which is your favourite way to deal with the winter? Let us know in the comments! 

Accept the Backyard Biologist Mission in the Earth Rangers app and learn all about the amazing plants and animals around you!