Biology Question #147

H.D. Lail, a 23 year old female from the Internet asks on March 10, 2000,

What is the difference between animal hibernation and a human coma? These states appear similar, because both involve a level of unconsciousness.

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on March 10, 2000

I can think of a number of big differences. Hibernation is a total body function that involves many organs including the brain, heart, kidneys, etc. But a coma is a brain problem. Hibernation is a desirable natural adaptation to deal with the natural environment. Coma is a pathology, a sickness, something undesirable. And unlike a coma, hibernation is self-induced.

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