Friday, July 17, 2015

Word of the day: estivate

The word of the day is estivate:
  1. to spend the summer, as at a specific place or in a certain activity.
  2. Zoology. to spend a hot, dry season in an inactive, dormant state, as certain reptiles, snails, insects, and small mammals.

"Everywhere on the surface of the earth temperatures fluctuate.  They fluctuate from day to night and from season to season.  Even in the tropics, where the difference between winter and summer is minimal, temperatures can vary significantly between the rainy and the dry seasons.  Organisms have developed all sorts of ways of dealing with these variations.  They hibernate or estivate or migrate."

 - Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: an Unnatural History

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