Adaptations for Seasons of Food Scarcity

  • A stocky body for carrying fat and minimizing heat loss in winter
  • Ability to grow dense insulating fur
  • Ability to accumulate excess fat when food is available and remain healthy doing so
  • Ability to reduce their metabolism (hibernate) in seasons of scarcity.
  • Ability to mate when food is scarce in late spring and early summer, delay implantation of the blastocyst until November, give birth in the den in mid-winter, and in many ways arrange their annual life cycle of behavior and physiology to maximize efficiency of feeding during the time of year when food is most available.
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