After watching Lily the Black Bear ( see the last post ) for a couple of winters , it has become obvious to me that bears are not true hibernators such as ground hogs or ground squirrels. Then why do we persist in calling them hibernators?
I discovered that like a lot of things , it is simply a question of clarifying our vocabulary . Hibernation has degrees and each degree has a name : true, torpor, aestivation and diapause . Not all of these states are restricted to winter .
The best place to find out more, laid out simply for easy understanding , is this site :Oracle ThinkQuest Education Foundation . Keep things simple and many things are easy to understand...for the most part.