Black bear hibernating
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Black bear hibernating filmed in infrared

Scientists monitoring black bears have found the metabolic rates of the animals drop dramatically during hibernation, despite only a small change in their body temperature.

Previously it had been thought an animal's metabolism and body temperature were more closely linked.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers explained how they observed bears captured after wandering too close to human communities by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The animals slept in special structures designed to mimic a bear's den, equipped with infrared cameras and activity detectors.

Video courtesy of Øivind Tøien / Institute of Arctic Biology / University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • 17 Feb 2011