Aestivation or æstivation (from (ラテン語:aestas), summer, but also spelled estivation in American English) is a state of animal dormancy, similar to hibernation, characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate, that is entered in response to high temperatures and arid conditions. It takes place during times of heat and dryness, the hot dry season, which are often the summer months.
Invertebrate and vertebrate animals are known to enter this state to avoid damage from high temperatures and the risk of desiccation. Both terrestrial and aquatic animals undergo aestivation.
Organisms who aestivate appear to be in a fairly "light" state of dormancy, as their physiological state can be rapidly reversed, and the organism can quickly return to a normal state. A study done on ''Otala lactea'', a snail native to parts of Europe and Northern Africa, shows that they can wake from their dormant state within ten minutes of being introduced to a wetter environment. Fossil records show that the act of aestivating may be several hundred million years old.
The primary physiological and biochemical concerns for an aestivating animal are to conserve energy, retain water in the body, ration the use of stored energy, handle the nitrogenous end products, and stabilize bodily organs, cells, and macromolecules. This can be quite a task as hot temperatures and arid conditions may last for months. The depression of metabolic rate during aestivation causes a reduction in macromolecule synthesis and degradation. To stabilize the macromolecules, aestivators will enhance antioxidant defenses and elevate chaperone proteins. This is a widely used strategy across all forms of hypometabolism. These physiological and biochemical concerns appear to be the core elements of hypometabolism throughout the animal kingdom. In other words, animals who aestivate appear to go through nearly the same physiological processes as animals that hibernate.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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