Bats spend about 90-95 percent of the hibernation period in torpor, and thus can conserve energy during periods of food scarcity and cold temperatures. However, though bats don’t spend a lot of time during arousals, warming up from just a few degrees above freezing to normal body temperature uses a huge amount of energy. Therefore, the majority of winter energy use is driven by these relatively brief periodic arousals, and bats can easily use up all their fat stores if they arouse too frequently. How often bats arouse is dependent on the temperature of where they hibernate—called a hibernaculum—and other bat characteristics, such as their body size, body temperature, and metabolic rate.
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