Bears are pretty cool animals and they do something that's very unique: they hibernate! Have you ever wondered how bear hibernation works? Here are 7 fun facts you can share with friends.
- Right before they hibernate, bears load up on food, eating up to 20,000 calories daily and gaining as much as 30 pounds a week.
- Bears mate in the late spring/early summer and the fertilized egg will undergo delayed development and remain in a female bear's womb for weeks or months. If she hasn't accumulated enough fat by hibernation time, the egg will spontaneously abort.
- Baby bears are born in winter during hibernation and are nursed in the den until they emerge in spring.
- During hibernation a bear's heart rate drops to as slow as 8 beats per minute.
- Bears sleep in dens they dig out in hollowed-out tree cavities, under logs or rocks, caves, banks and shallow depressions.
- Bears hibernate without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating.
- When they emerge, they are in a state called walking hibernation for 2-3 weeks while their metabolic processes adjust to normal levels and they do not eat or drink much during this time.
Learn more about black bears: