eli5 Why do bears hibernate?


I was watching a documentary on Netflix where I learnt that in harsh winters the Alaskan brown bears go into hibernation. isn’t it that just the cold blooded animals like lizards, snakes and other reptiles go into hibernation because they are unable to maintain their body temperatures during winter? plus they have hair on their body (fur) which protects their body (?).

In: 6

It’s not ideal to hunt in snow and if a bear uses energy it doesn’t have it can get tired and die in the snow. Which takes more energy to navigate

Nope hibernation is a food saving measure if you are going to burn more calories looking for food than you are going to find in the food you are better off shutting down for the winter. https://youtu.be/rKLa9r-9oko

Harsh winter means that the bear is wasting more energy looking for food than that food can provide. Therefore it is more beneficial for the bear to just sit tight in a warm place and try spending as little energy as possible. Hence, hibernating. Most northern mammals and even some birds are capable of it to some extent. Humans can’t do it because we are all fairly recent immigrants from Africa.

There’s not a lot of food available in winter, and maintaining a warm body temperature, and staying active in deep snow, requires an enormous amount of calories.

They do it to conserve calories.