state of animal dormancy similar to hibernation but taking place during the summer

Aestivation,[1] spelled estivation in the US, is one way an animal can go dormant, which is like being asleep.

Introduced Theba pisana snails aestivating on a row of fence posts in Kadina, South Australia

Aestivation is similar to hibernation, but the animal does it when it is hot instead of when it is cold. The animals stops moving and it slowly uses much less energy (food). The animal does this when the temperature is high and the weather is dry. Lungfish have been doing this since the Devonian period millions of years ago.[2] Many animals aestivate, including the Nile crocodile, many snails, and lady beetles.[3][4]

Invertebrate and vertebrate animals aestivate so they do not die from the heat or from drying out. Both land- and water-living animals can do aestivation.

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  1. from Latin aestas, "summer."
  2. Miller, William Charles (2007). Trace fossils: concepts, problems, prospects. Elsevier. p. 206. ISBN 9780444529497.
  3. Philip Withers, Scott Pedler & Michael Guppy. 1997. Physiological adjustments during aestivation by the Australian land snail Rhagada tescorum (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Camaenidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 45(6) 599 - 611. abstract.
  4. Hagen K.S. 1962. Biology and ecology of predaceous Coccinellidae. Annual Review of Entomology 7: 289-326