Fulmar Students Learn What Animals Do in Winter

January 08, 2018

How do animals survive in the winter? That’s what Fulmar Road students learned when Colin Remick, a naturalist from the Center for Environmental Education at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES visited their classrooms recently. Remick not only explained the different ways animals deal with cold temperatures—he also brought along some live examples.
“There are four ways animals deal with cold weather,” Remick told students. They can hibernate, or sleep for three months in the winter; they can migrate and go to a warmer location, as many bird species and butterflies do.  Or, like humans, they can stay active in the winter, meaning they go on with their lives as normal, Remick explained. Wolves and deer are also examples of active animals.
Animals that belong to the fourth category, called torpor, “stay awake sometimes and sleep sometimes,” according to Remick. Racoons and skunks, for example, sleep for two weeks and are awake for two weeks when the temperatures drop.
The most interesting moment for students came when Remick displayed furs, a giant snakeskin and—best of all—some live animals. While the hissing cockroach made some students cringe, the tortoise and the hedgehog more than made up for it.
Naturalist Colin Remick from PNW BOCES teaches Fulmar Road students about animal adaptation in the winter.