A word coined in 1965 by American Zoologist Wilbur W. Mayhew. Brumation denotes a state of torpor and sluggishness brought on by winter. Mayhew used the word to describe the cold-weather dormancy of reptiles.
Brumation is also a term commonly used in Biology to describe the dormant period for reptiles. As with hibernation in mammals, their bodies shut down and conserve energy for the coming year. During the period of brumation, a reptile may not eat, drink, defecate, or move for several weeks. It may bury itself completely underground or go to the darkest, coolest part of its enclosure.