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Behavior, Biochemistry, and Hibernation in Black, Grizzly, and Polar Bears
Ralph A. Nelson, G. Edgar Folk, Jr., Egbert W. Pfeiffer, John J. Craighead, Charles J. Jonkel and Dianne L. Steiger
Bears: Their Biology and Management
Vol. 5, A Selection of Papers from the Fifth International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, February 1980 (1983), pp. 284-290
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3872551
Page Count: 7
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Annual behavioral and biochemical patterns of black bears (Ursus americanus), grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were reviewed. We propose that black and grizzly bears show 4 annual physiological stages: Stage I -- hibernation, in which lean body mass is preserved and body fat supplies energy; Stage II -- walking hibernation, in which the biochemistry of hibernation is integrated with physical activity, but food and water intake are minimal; Stage III -- normal activity, in which patterns are consistent with those of nonhibernating mammals; and Stage IV -- hyperphagia, which increases fat reserves for hibernation. For polar bears, using published reports and recently collected data, we propose that all 4 stages are possible and that polar bears appear able to shift between Stages I and II in both summer and winter, which permits successful adaptation to the arctic environment.
Bears: Their Biology and Management © 1983 International Association for Bear Research and Management