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Scientists uncover surprising features of bear hibernation | High Sierra Backpacker

Scientists uncover surprising features of bear hibernation


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 24 February 2011

Scientists uncover surprising features of bear hibernation

Metabolism independent of body temperature

Article: University of Alaska Fairbanks

It's good to know as much as we can about our furry friends. This facinating research enhances our knowledge about bear phisiology, which may also explain why bears are cranky in Spring: It takes them weeks to fully wake up!

Cool Stuff! If you find interesting facts about the natural world and its denizens that we backpack through, post it up.

Notes on Black Bears

Black bears in the Sierras are fairly predictable. In brief, their behavior is either  tailored to completely avoid humans, as in the case of wild bears, or to effeciently gather human food, as is the case with "tame" bears.

You have to work pretty hard, and be pretty damn stupid, to get attacked by a Sierra Black Bear. Putting yourself between a determined tame bear and the food is one way to get swatted, and trying to take the food away from the bear that scored your food supply is another. I don't recommend either as a successful human behavior.

Messing with cubs is another recipie for disaster, but the people who read this site are too smart for that...

Black Bears in Alaska do not follow those rules. When I was up there in 2005 Black Bears were eating backpackers. Really.

The point of this screed is; "Local Knowledge!!" When you depart your home range, check carefully with the locals about the character of the weather, the terrain, and its inhabitants.

Your human social assumptions do not operate well in nature, unless they are well tailored to reflect the reality of the local environment you are hiking through. The best way to tune your assumptions and senses to nature is to travel through it.

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