This fish blog will answer the major question, “Do fish hibernate?” we will also discuss the major changes during the resting phase of the fish species, the difference between torpor and hibernation, and what are the benefits of hibernation in the animal species.
Do fish hibernate?
No, fish do not hibernate rather they go into a resting phase which is known as torpor. It is a temporary state in which the animals gather energy for their future use because the outside environment is cold and they need to save energy. There are various changes in the torpor of fish species.
What are the changes in the torpor of the fish?
Following are the changes in the torpor of the fish:
Slows down the heart rate
The torpor phase can slow down the heart rate of animals such as fish species because they don’t need oxygen supply for their metabolic activity. Once the fish decides to go rest then they do not need extra oxygen for their body cells as most of the body cells have gone resting and will activate themselves whenever it is needed.
The heart is still pumping only supplying oxygen to the vital organs of the body so they are not short of oxygen supply in the body.
Slows down respiration rate
Respiration is needed to pump extra oxygen into the body and when the body is in need of oxygen, the respiration rate increases but in this case, extra oxygen is not required so the respiration rate is slow, and only a small amount of oxygen is extracted from the water which can only fulfill the needs of the vital organ of the body.
Slows down the metabolic rate of cells
In the torpor phase, the metabolic rate of the body declines because there is no activity or little activity of the body. The body does not need a high metabolic rate because there is less demand for energy in the body. The metabolic process gives ATP to the cells giving more and more energy to the body but in this case, it is not needed.
Restrict activity of the body
It is done intentionally because the fish goes into a torpor phase because the outside environment is very cold and there is less chance of survival of the aquatic life underwater.
The fish reduces its movement to conserve energy in the body, which is why respiration rate, metabolic rate, and heart rate slow down in response to the low activity of the body.
Eating frequency decreases during torpor
The eating frequency decreases during the torpor phase, the fish do move a little movement to get food but under harsh climates, the food supply is restricted therefore the fish has to survive on the reserves of the body. Food is scarce during such periods and therefore, the fish need to reduce the wastage of energy in other activities of the body.
What is the difference between the hibernation and torpor of the animals?
Following are the major differences between the torpor and the hibernation process of the animals:
- The first difference is torpor can be controlled by the animals while hibernation cannot be controlled by the animals.
- The next difference is hibernation can last months and years but on the other hand, torpor can last for a few hours to a few days during harsh weather only.
- The next difference is hibernation is scheduled every year but on the other hand, torpor can be done at any time according to the will of the animal in the forest under the water.
- The next difference is there is no activity in the hibernation process of the animal while in the case of torpor, there is little activity of the body to find food and get oxygen for the vital organs of the body.
- The next difference is the heart rate of animals in torpor is a little bit higher than the heart rate of animals in hibernation.
These are the major differences but there are also minor differences that are often overlooked when we are studying such processes in animals.
What are the benefits of the hibernation process in most animals?
Following are the benefits of the hibernation process in animals:
- Animals can save energy that is stored in the adipose tissue of the animals in harsh climates.
- Animals can rejuvenate their body organs and their feathers in the case of birds.
- Animals can also avoid predators because the hibernation process takes place in deeper regions of the land and the sea.
- The hibernation process can strengthen the bones of the animals.
In this fish blog, we answered the major question, “Do fish hibernate?” we also discussed the major changes during the resting phase of the fish species, the difference between torpor and hibernation, and what are the benefits of hibernation in the animal species.