Who wouldn't want to get away from the world for a few months and enjoy some peace and quiet? I certainly would.

With winter comes cold weather, snow, and the disappearance of many animals. Birds migrate toward warmer temperatures, but what about the animals that can't fly? How do they get through the cold months?

Well, they hibernate.

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Most folks think hibernation is when animals sleep for several months, until spring arrives, but that isn't the case. Hibernation has many different variations for all sorts of animals. Here, we'll focus on animals commonly found in Montana and what they do during the winter months.

When people think about hibernation their minds go straight to bears. But bears aren't just packing their berry-filled tummies into a cave for five months straight.

Alessa Kiviat/Getty Images
Alessa Kiviat/Getty Images
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Hibernation is a state in which an animal's metabolism slows in order to help the body digest slowly and sustain itself for several months with little or no additional food. These animals are also able to lower their heart rate to help the body create maximally efficient processes. Animals that hibernate still wake up, stretch their legs, and maybe forage nearby, but mostly confine themselves to a small area that they can maintain throughout the winter.

What most people don't know is that hibernation isn't only for bears. Several animals in Montana hibernate in some way, which makes sense; no one wants to dig under several feet of snow to find food. Hibernation is probably the better option.

Photo by Tomas Malik via Unsplash
Photo by Tomas Malik via Unsplash
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So what animals hibernate during the winter? We made a list of five animals that hibernate to survive and some details that will interest you about their unique hibernation processes.

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