Animals of the temperate forest

Unlike tropical forests, this biome contains very few mammals, because there is no complex series of layers and the vegetation is seasonal.
During autumn, the animals of this biome feed on and lay in stores for the winter; in particular, they like walnuts and winged seeds which actually keep a long time.
The fruits of the apple-tree, the rose, the hawthorn, the gooseberry and others tend instead to ripen all at the same time (about late summer) and are used therefore during the summer to store fat.
Hibernation
Many mammals and birds have devised a number of strategies to survive the rigours of winter; many species sleep all through the winter, well protected in their dens. Some animals go into a real hibernation: their body temperature drops and their metabolism is reduced to a minimum: the stored fat is in any case sufficient to keep the animal alive; hedgehogs and mice do this. Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) are terricolous animals that build their nests on the surface, under shrubs and bushes; during the day, they hide under dry branches and leaves, while at dusk they go around, looking for food. Hedgehogs are the only insectivores to hibernate, generally from October to March. They feed on insects, earthworms and earth molluscs.
Squirrels, bears and badgers do not decrease instead the temperature of their bodies, but during the winter they get into a state of sleepiness alternated with short bursts of waking. In these periods, squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) feed on the stores (walnuts and hazelnuts) they have laid in during the autumn. Squirrels are diurnal species that live almost only on trees, where they move very easily. They build individual nests, generally at the bifurcation of branches 5-15 metres above ground, made of woven twigs with one or two entrances. They feed on shoots, roots, scrub fruits, acorns, walnuts and hazelnuts. Sometimes, they eat insects and bird eggs as well.

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