SciSun: Do not disturb

Here’s something you don’t hear every day. Or if you did, please move away quickly because it’s probably not safe.  It’s a black bear sleeping (and snoring):   http://bcove.me/3h32hnel

Find a sleeping bear. Shine a light in his face and gently poke him with a stick. What could go wrong??

Thanks to Øivind Tøien, and other scientists at the Institute of Arctic Biology/University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who are studying bears to learn how they handle long periods of sleep, we can see what the bears do when they’re hibernating.   And it’s not much.  Just some snoring.   Remember, hibernation is when certain types of animals go into a deep sleep for many weeks during the winter.  They sleep so soundly, they don’t even wake up to eat or drink or use the bathroom.  But look how  s-l-o-w this bear is breathing.   When they hibernate everything slows down.  Which is good, because if he knew videos of him sleeping were being posted to the net without his approval, he’d probably think he’s getting punked and that would make him pretty angry.  And remember, it’s important never to make a bear angry.

There are lots of great places to learn more about black bears, hibernation, and the scientists that study them.  Here are a few to get you started:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/satoyama/hibernation.html

http://www.vt.edu/spotlight/impact/2008-03-10_bears/2008-03-10_bears.html

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/02/the-secrets-of-bear-hibernation.html?rss=1

And don’t forget to check out your local library! (Unless there are bears there.  Then come back later)

Posted February 20, 2011 by ECOVIA eco-adventure® in SciSun

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