Difference Between Aestivation and Hibernation


Primary Difference

Both aestivation and hibernation are the kinds of slumbering form. The key dissimilarity between the two (the hibernation and the aestivation) is, aestivation is a sleep for summer season while hibernation is the winter sleeping pattern. During aestivation an animal seek for colder places that are moist and shady, with which their bodies get protected of outside temperature and harsh weather conditions while, hibernation is the period which led an organism to look for warmer and cozy places that enables their bodies to be protected and safe from the severe temperatures. Both summers and winters directly influence on the mammals, amphibians and reptiles such as frogs, salamander, lizards, snail and birds because their metabolism becomes slow and the energy level becomes lower during severe summers and harsh winters. Aestivation is for a smaller period of rest during summertime however, hibernation is a longer period of stay and grounded for animals those are cold blooded as well as warm blooded. Aestivation is generally called as summer sleep and in this period animals take rest during the period of a day or it can be longer but hibernation which is commonly said as winter sleep is undergrounding of mammals, reptiles either coldblooded or warm for a period which can comprise on months also. To cope up with the both conditions is a lumbering task for the hibernators and aestivators both.

Comparison Chart

The sleep of summer seasonThe sleep of winter season
Animals tends to seek cool, shady and humid spots for restingAnimals finds warmer places to maintain their body temperature.
Performed by cold blooded amphibiansCarried out by both the warm blooded amphibians and reptiles and the cold blooded reptiles and amphibians

Definition of Aestivation

It is the summertime slumber, normally observed in animals that are cold blooded during the summer season. In summertime the ecological temperature rises and hence the amphibians such as frog also undergo increasing body temperatures. To avoid these circumstances frogs usually swim towards the deepest part of water and hide themselves under the mud, till the outside temperatures become normal. The process is called aestivation. Those animals that aestivates, are also includes non- mammals, such as crocodiles, North American desert tortoise, salamanders and many more. Few amphibians (e.g. the cane toad) aestivate throughout the hot dry period by moving subversive where it is chiller and more damp. The principal physical and organic apprehensions for an aestivating specie is to protect energy, preserve liquid in the body, allocation the use of deposited energy, take care of the nitrogenous finish foods, and alleviate fleshly body part, macromolecules, and cells. This could be fairly a mission as scorching temperatures and dry situations may continue for months. The melancholy of metabolic speed throughout aestivation sources a decrease in macromolecule combination and deprivation. To alleviate the macromolecules, the animals (aestivators) will boost antioxidant resistances and upraise chaperone proteins.


Definition of Hibernation

Hibernation is a form of laziness and metabolic unhappiness in endotherms. Hibernation denotes to a season of heterothermy which is categorized by stumpy body temperature, sluggish inhalation and heartbeat, and stumpy metabolic speed. The winter season is tough for cold blooded animals as summers are, because the body temperature of some amphibians and reptiles (which are cold blooded) fluctuates with the outside temperature. As the temperature decreases in winter their body temperature also decreases which led them to go under the deepest ponds and hide under the mud for a longer sleep. When the winters ended and the season gets normal for their bodies they come out of long sleeps. This is called hibernation. Before inflowing hibernation, creatures essentially needs to stock adequate energy which will carry on with them to the complete winter. Bigger classes of animals grow into hyperphagic which means they increases their appetite and eat as much as they can for the entire season and stock the energy in the form of fat stores. In several minor species, food reserving swaps eating and transforming in fat. Various kinds of mammals sleep through winter while gestating undeveloped, which may get birth while the mother is hibernating or may be soon after the season finishes.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Aestivation is the sleep of summer season whereas; hibernation is the sleep of winter season when cold-blooded animals faces decreased body temperatures.
  2. The duration of the aestivation is short whereas, during hibernation animal undergo longer periods of sleep.
  3. During aestivation animals tends to seek cool, shady and humid spots for resting while, during hibernation animals finds warmer places to maintain their body temperature.
  4. Aestivation is performed by cold blooded amphibians whereas hibernation is carried out by both the warm blooded amphibians and reptiles and the cold blooded reptiles and amphibians also.
  5. The animals that aestivates are commonly earthworms, salamanders, honeybees and snails. Whereas, hibernating animals are normally birds, insects, bat, and mammals and so on.


Two terms which always give the impression that they are the same but in actual are different from each other are the ones which give the most headache. Aestivation and Hibernation are two similar words which have been explained in this article so that people are able to get the idea of the main differences between them.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White