Do Lizards Hibernate?

Do Lizards Hibernate

Lizards hibernate in the winter when they want to avoid the cold weather. Lizards that live in the desert or warmer habitats don’t hibernate because they do not need to.

Lizards are reptiles and all reptiles are cold-blooded animals. They cannot regulate their body temperature, so when the weather gets cold, they need to seek shelter in a warmer spot. That’s why lizards will hibernate during the winter and rest in warmer spots so they don’t freeze and die.

Do Lizards Hibernate?

Yes, most lizards will hibernate – especially those that live in colder areas. Lizards living in deserts and warmer habitats don’t need to hibernate because the weather remains warm throughout the entire year.

Hibernation is a necessary process for the majority of lizards around the world, especially those that live outdoors. 

They can’t sustain their body temperature and regulate it. Unlike warm-blooded animals, lizards cannot regulate their temperature. That’s why they need to stay somewhere warm so they don’t freeze to death during winter. Lizards will use natural features such as the sun or shades to regulate their temperature, which is why they will hibernate during the winter.

Hibernation is an important process for lizards that ensures their survival when the outdoor conditions are not to their liking. In most cases, it will save their lives and it might last several months, although, for some lizards, the hibernation will not be constant and might get broken up during the process.

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Why Do Lizards Hibernate?

Lizards will hibernate because they can’t regulate their body temperature. This means that they need to seek shelter and find the proper conditions for living when temperatures get too cold for them.

Unlike warm-blooded animals, lizards are cold-blooded. They’re ectothermic animals, which means that they depend on the outdoor temperatures and weather conditions directly for survival. When they need heat, they will go into the sun or find someplace warm, and when they need to cool down, they will find a cool spot to do so.

They are thus different from warm-blooded animals, who don’t rely on outdoor temperatures and weather conditions as much. This is because warm-blooded animals can regulate their body temperatures, so they do not need to hibernate – only for a few exceptions for animals that live in colder areas.

Most lizards will survive in temperatures that go as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures differ from those, they will look for areas in nature that offer them the optimal temperatures, which is why some lizards will hibernate during the winter when the temperatures drop under 60 degrees.

Hibernation is thus a crucial survival mechanism for lizards that allows them to stay warm and survive the cold winter months comfortably. 

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How Do Lizards Hibernate?

When lizards hibernate, they will find an area in nature that offer them warm enough conditions.

For example, they will seek shelter under a rock, in a fallen tree, in holes in the ground, and in other areas that might offer them a comfortable spot to withstand the cold weather.

Lizard hibernation is slightly different from the hibernation of bears, for example. While most bears and other animals that hibernate will enter partial or full hibernation when they won’t spend any of their energy, lizards are more active. They might even wander around and out of their hibernation spot if it gets warm enough.

Their hibernation is thus a bit more active. They will spend their time waiting for the weather to get better and close to their liking. This might take weeks or even months, while in other cases, it might happen much more quickly – in a matter of just hours or even days.

When lizards hibernate, they will not eat or drink much since they don’t require a lot of food to survive. However, they might occasionally wander out and find food if they get hungry or if they require it. They will do so carefully, though, since they will be more exposed at this time and don’t have a lot of strength.

Not all lizards will hibernate because of cold temperatures, though. Some lizards living in warmer habitats will also hibernate and hide from the sun when it gets too hot. This process is called estivation and it’s different from hibernation. It’s more of hiding from the sun rather than fully going into hibernation.

Read Also: Do Lizards Live in The Forest?

Do All Lizards Hibernate?

Not all lizards will hibernate. Only those that live in colder habitats will hibernate, while those living in deserts and warmer habitats are not as likely to hibernate because winter temperatures don’t get too cold.

As already mentioned, lizards require temperatures between 60 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. These demands will also differ on the breed of the lizard, but for the most part, these are the estimates that will make lizards comfortable.

That’s why lizards living in warmer habitats can remain active year-round. The temperatures won’t drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit – except for in rare cases such as during the night, which is when these lizards will seek shelter and hibernate for a very brief period before they come out again.

Lizards that live in more moderate climates, however, will need to hibernate during the winter. That’s because the temperatures will most likely drop below the 60-degree mark, which is when they will start to seek shelter. It will force them to go into warmer areas to survive during the winter.


Lizards will hibernate during the winter when the temperatures get colder. They are cold-blooded animals, meaning they can’t regulate their temperatures naturally. This forces them to seek shelter and hibernate during the winter. Their hibernation will be more active than the hibernation of other animals.

Some lizards living in warmer habitats such as deserts don’t need to hibernate. The temps don’t get low enough so they don’t need to do it. But they will still hide from the heat if it gets too hot – it’s a process called estivation.

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