Cool Facts About Bears

Bears are such a cool animal yet most of us really know very little about them. I'll admit that I was even surprised by a few of these myself.

  1. Bears have a tremendous sense of smell. In fact, they are thought to have the best sense of smell out of any animal on Earth! For example, an average dog's sense of smell is 100 times better than humans. A blood hound's sense of smell is 300 times better than humans. A bear's sense of smell is 7 times better than a blood hound's or 2,100 times better than a human! Who knew?!
  2. Bears have good eyesight. They see in color and their vision is comparable to humans. Their night vision is excellent and they are particularly attuned to detecting motion. 
  3. Bears technically don't hibernate, they go into torpor. Admittedly to most of us it looks pretty similar, but an animal that hibernates is completely unresponsive. Bears are fully able to wake up and defend themselves or go hunt for food if needed. They also wake up regularly to change position which scientists believe they do to prevent bed sores. 
  4. Bears are social animals. While they don't live and hunt in groups, they do make friends and alliances and have social structures with a dominance hierarchy. Some adult bears have even been documented mentoring unrelated young bears. In some ways they're a lot like people, some bear like each other, other's don't but they all live in the same area.
  5. Bears are not territorial. Bears do not maintain a territory the way animals such as wolves do. Instead they share home ranges and frequently interact, forming the basis for bear social behaviors and structures.
  6. Bears are very curious animals. Though a new object in their environment might initially scare a bear, they quickly get over their fright and investigate. Sometimes this gets interprated as an aggressive act, when it is really just straighforward curiousity.
  7. Bears are not always aware of what's around them. Heck, I suppose if any of us were as big and powerful as them, we wouldn't really HAVE to be that aware. A bear following a trail won't always look ahead, but rather will be so focussed on on the scent of something tasty they just don't realize there are people around. 
  8. Black bears can actually be any color of white, brown or black and are excellent tree climbers. Brown bears, or grizzly's are not very good tree climbers, but are still capable of climbing if they wish.