The Arctic Ground Squirrel hibernates by burrowing under the permafrost and slipping into a state of suspended animation. The female black bear can give birth while she hibernates. The fat-tailed dwarf lemur prepares to hibernate by storing its fat reserves in its tail – doubling its body weight.

How do these animals reach such extremes to survive harsh winters and, in the lemur’s case, months of Madagascar drought? What’s the difference between hibernation and sleep? And could humans ever actually hibernate in real life? This TED-Ed by Sheena Faherty explores these questions.

Plus: Dig deeper on TED-Ed and Can Humans Hibernate? Ask the Dwarf Lemur in Scientific American.

Follow this with Return of the Wood Frog and L’orchestre d’hibernation animaux and how animals hibernate. Plus: Why are sloths so slow?

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