Friday, April 4, 2008

Dancing Bears

More research by the Glacier National Park USGS group! I was able to see an early presentation on this work back in 2005 when I worked in the park. You can read more about the Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project here and more information on the Grizzly Bear DNA Project here.

By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 03 April 2008 08:15 am ET

".... Between 2005 and 2007, Kate Kendall of the U.S. Geological Survey and her colleagues took video footage of black and grizzly bears doing what looks like the go-go at their favorite "rub trees." They also got film of bears lumbering beneath stretches of barbed wire used to snag hair samples.

The research is part of a larger study to estimate the population size and distribution of bears in northwestern Montana using genetic analyses of the bears' hair samples.

Scientists think bears shimmy their backs against trees in a kind of bump-and-grind to scratch hard-to-reach spots and to communicate their presence to other Ursus kin.

"It's probably primarily a form of chemical communication," Kendall said. "Often bears will sniff the trees before and after they rub on them."

Though Kendall has yet to pinpoint exactly what makes for a bear-loving rub tree, both grizzlies and black bears seem to agree on the specs. "Multiple bears are using the same trees, including within the same day black bears and grizzly bears," Kendall told LiveScience." the entire article here
Video Link

Great minds think alike...

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