Migration is a process in which animals move towards summery climatic regions from their home place in order to survive from harsh cold winds. It is necessary for animals because it is very difficult to find food in winter. Various animals migrate from mountains and upper hill towards southern region till spring arrives. Whereas some animals migrate towards another regions to have better circumstances for breeding.
In this article we are going to learn about some interesting and astonishing facts and will find answers to numerous questions as to why animals migrate, how migration helps with breeding and many more. Stay tuned.
Reasons for Migrations?
The most important reason for animal migration is to survive from cold and have better food resources.
Survival of the Cold
Animals migrate towards other parts of the world which are warm from their home so they can survive the cold. The reason for migration is that certain animals are meant to live in warm temperature so they have it developed this technique where they spend their whole life in warmth.
Whereas animals that live in countries that have hot and humid environment whole year like Tanzania, Kenya, Nairobi most parts of African countries doesn’t migrate because they don’t need to, the temperature remains constant.
Migration for breeding?
Up till now we learned that animal migrate to other countries for survival but do animals also migrate for other causes such as breeding to other parts of the world. The answer to this question is yes they do, because breeding requires warmth so each time when breeding season arrives several animals like fishes and Whales, Seals and other creatures move towards warm waters in order to breed and they stay with them for years until the eggs hatch and are safe enough to live on their own. This process is followed globally.
Animals not only move towards other part of the world to have warmer climate but also to have better circumstance for mating and breeding.
Timing is everything and animals seem to know this that’s why they always decide to migrate at the exact time and are back when the winter pass. How do they do that? Let’s find out.
Inherited or Adopted?
The movement of animals have been studied closely and it has been observed that this event might been installed in them as an instinct from their birth or they might have adapted it once they faced they their problem and they never forget it ever. Now they just perceive that it’s time to move and similarly move back.
Migration patterns due to climate change
Global warming has caused a rapid change in environment and climate which has affected the animal’s migration and have new pattern as they can’t shift their homes rapidly.
The is a list of animals that migrate to south and other parts of the world including fishes, birds except mammals because it will take them ages to cover big distances. Some of most famous animals to migrate are Canadian Geese, Salmons and many more.
Long Distances Migration?
This depends on certain situations. Some animals are used to travel long distances for migration and some will take short distance.
The aim of animals that are migrating for breeding purposes is to find a perfect suitable place where they can breed and their eggs will remain safe.
Whereas animals that are looking for warmer climates will have to travel south which will take long distance. The perfect example for long distance migratory animals is the swallows which are famous for travelling the longest distance which is 6,500 miles up to 10500 km.
This type of distance will take long time and high sources of energy to keep going. It’s very outstanding but will take hard work.
How Do Animals Find Their Way During Migration?
The actual reason hasn’t been known but a lot of theories speculating about this topic have said that they might use rivers as a map as they can follow the colors around them and can also see from above.
Another speculation is that they might move with the dimension of sun and moon according to their location.
It is possible that the birds and other animals have a strong sense of magnetic fields so they move according to it
Survival of winter without migration
The process of migration is followed by various animals in order to survive cold but there are numerous animals that choose not to migrate to warm places and find ways to keep themselves warm. There are several methods to defy cold and animals have adapted them. Let’s learn about the practices and actions they take in winter months.
Bears are well known for hibernating as they waste away half of their life sleeping in a cave. They do it by decreasing their body temperature gradually while slowing down their breathing and even heart rate. Bears are known for hibernating around 6 months but they keep themselves alert and will take a break from their hibernation and check around if they sense any danger.
Apart from bear several animals take hibernation to another level for example bat they take gaps up to an hour each time they breath also they can lower their temperature almost to freezing point.
There are many interesting facts about animals hibernating if you were shocked about birds know the exact time to migrate and how they navigate you’ll be more intrigued by the bears because they sense the winter coming even before the weather turns cold and starts eating excess food to store it when they are in hibernation.
Modification instead of Migration
There are also various animals that choose not to move around and instead have to do some modifications like having warm feathers or a fluff out so they won’t freeze to death and they look super adorable in those fluffy feathers. These animals include turkeys, hawks, owls etc.
Ants are known for making underground hideouts in winter this help them stay warm and the cold will remain above the ground.
They store large amount of foods in the hideout. The main aim of this hideout is to protect the queen from dangers of cold, the queen is important because it carries the next generation and if anything happens to her the eggs will be wasted.
Prepared for death.
The life span of certain animals is limited on the basis of seasons and when those seasons are about to arrive the following animals such as gnats Field Crickets, hornets, hopper do not survive in winter so they prepare themselves for death and before that they lay a lot of eggs to guarantee the next generation.
Animals like larva have a backup mechanism for conditions that are extreme such as in winter they maintain their body temperature and are able to live by producing alcohol in its blood so they won’t freeze.