Hibernation is basically a long, deep sleep to help an animal survive harsh winter conditions. It’s not a traditional sleep where brain activity, digestion, and other bodily functions keep going. It’s a period of torpor, which is inactivity in both body and mind. The body keeps functioning in a hibernating animal but at incredibly slow rates. This reserves energy and sustains the animal until conditions outside the hibernation area are more suitable for life.
When a tortoise goes into hibernation, they will slow their metabolism down to almost nothing. That makes it appear as if he isn’t alive. His breathing will slow, hie heart rate will drop, his temperature will plummet, and he’ll stop eating and drinking. It really does look like death, but don’t worry. This total inactivity is perfectly normal.
Pet owners everywhere love it when their little or large friends give love back. Who wouldn’t want snuggles from a cute puppy or to listen to the loving rumble of a cat’s purr? But what about tortoises – do they get attached to their owners? Are our scaly friends affectionate like a mammal or bird …
Tortoises dig, bury and burrow instinctively to regulate their temperature, prepare for brumation and to escape predators. The desert tortoise, for example, digs itself into the ground to escape the burning desert sun. Some breeds dig elaborate burrows or dens for communal brumation. Others use it as a strategy for escaping predators.