is another form of torpor,
dormancy, or "sleep". Animals that estivate are
trying to escape things happening in their environment.
This happens in hot, desert climates where heat and water are so
important to the animals that live there. Estivation protects
these animals from high temperatures and drought.
Just as animals hibernate in order to stay alive
in cold places, animals estivate [or aestivate] in hot, dry
places. The bodies of estivators will slow down.
Breathing and heartbeat get very slow. The animal doesn't need
as much food and water to live since food is fuel for energy and
they aren't using much. Reptiles use 90-95% less energy when
they are estivating. Animals don't move, grow or eat during
When hot and dry times come, estivators will find
themselves a safe place to sleep--usually underground. This is
the only way some animals can live through high heat and no water.
Some examples of estivators are:
Reptiles estivate in the middle of summer. Because they are
cold-blooded, their bodies stay the same temperature as the air
around them. If it is 40 degrees outside, their bodies are 40
degrees. If the air is 110 degrees, then their bodies are,
too. High temperatures plus lack of water make estivation the
animal's only chance to survive in that climate. This is a way
that animals adapt to the climate they live in.