In a year when we’ve all become used to cocooning ourselves in our burrows, we spotlight the astonishingly adaptable animals that hibernate in summer
Although widespread in wetland swamps and slow-moving backwaters across the eastern US and northern Mexico, the lesser siren (Siren intermedia) is rarely seen by humans. Often mistaken for eels due to their long, sleek bodies, they can withstand prolonged periods of drought, surviving for anywhere between a week and a year by burrowing deep down into muddy riverbeds. These highly adaptable amphibian will cocoon themselves in a protective layer of slime to stave off dehydration – or even grow new skin cells – while they wait for wetter weather. Once the rain returns, it only takes a day for pre-aestivation activity to resume.