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Bear Fact Friday — last one!

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The most interesting thing about bears, and the reason that I started Bear Fact Friday (well the reason was really Andie who did a huge research paper on bears) is their hibernation and “the urea cycle” so I will attempt to explain it.


Here goes  (btw I got this from THIS site):

Bear hibernation is truly a miracle of nature.  During the 5-7 months of hibernation a bear lives completely of its stored fat reserves (burning up to 8000 calories a day and hence its need to fatten up in the fall) and at no time does it eat, drink, defecate, or even urinate while in hibernation.  During hibernation the bear body essentially enters a mode of conservation, efficiency and recycling.  For months on end the bear doesn’t consume any fluids all the while never becoming dehydrated (also a bear is actually losing considerable water via the moisture in its exhaled breath) which would obviously normally kill any animal.  However, the bear hibernation physiology allows it to get all the water it needs from the metabolization of fat.  Water is a byproduct of fat metabolization and the bear is able to use this water to supply all its fluid requirements.

The treatment of wasters is even more amazing because the bear isn’t consuming any food or water most mammals still must regularly urinate in order to rid the body of urea (the same is obviously true of humans).  Urea is a nitrogenous compound that is a byproduct of protein metabolization (a process that is required to regulate blood glucose levels since fat metabolization doesn’t generate enough glucose of its own).  Urea is a poison that must be removed from the body via urine.  Obviously, bears have found a way around this dilemma.  Although not fully understood a bear is somehow capable of converting the urea back into protein, which begins the cycle again.  So essentially the bear is recycling the poisons into useful protein that it can reuse! Modern medicine would love to be able to repeat this for humans suffering kidney failure and bears are the only animal able to do this trick.

During hibernation a bear’s body temperature drops from a normal temperature of around 100 degrees down to about 90 degrees depending on the den temperature.  Other hibernating mammals such as ground squirrels have a body temperature that drops nearly to the ambient temperature which hibernating and thus can’t be awakened during hibernating.  However, a bear can be easily awakened during hibernation.  Also the hear rate drops from around 50 beats per minute to about 10 bpm in an effort to conserve as much energy as possible.

So there ya go! I’m done with all the Bear Fact’s so do you just want random stuff on Fridays? I kind of enjoy it myself!

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  1. Julie
    September 6, 2013

    I’m a huge fan of random.

  2. Meghan
    September 6, 2013

    I’ve been enjoying Bear Fact Fridays… But I do love your randomness too! lol

  3. Ribena Tina @ ribenamusings
    September 8, 2013

    Love the random stuff…also Bear Fact Friday. Your random is funny.

    • Lynn
      September 8, 2013

      thanks…looking for new facts

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