estivation

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."

Definitions of estivation
  1. noun
    (zoology) cessation or slowing of activity during the summer; especially slowing of metabolism in some animals during a hot or dry period
    synonyms: aestivation
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    type of:
    dormancy, quiescence, quiescency
    a state of quiet (but possibly temporary) inaction
  2. noun
    (botany) the arrangement of sepals and petals in a flower bud before it opens
    synonyms: aestivation
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    type of:
    arrangement
    an orderly grouping (of things or persons) considered as a unit; the result of arranging
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