Estivation is when animals slow their activity for the hot, dry summer months. During a period of estivation, many reptiles go underground where it's cooler.
Estivation is very similar to hibernation, when some mammals spend the winter moving very little and sleeping a lot, in order to save energy. During estivation, animals become still and their breathing slows — but it occurs during the hottest months of the year. Reptiles, amphibians, and molluscs are most likely to go through estivation. The Latin root word is aestus, or "heat."