Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bear Unit Schedule and Lesson Plan

This unit was requested by Abe, our resident Bear-lover! He's wanted to learn more about bears for a few years now, and we finally got to it. The rest of us were kind of surprised (though we shouldn't be, by now) by how interesting it was!
Bears and one bunny (Nutmeg really loved hopping up and licking these stuffed bears; he loves soft things)

Here's something interesting we'd never heard of before—bears can delay the implantation of their embryos to correspond with the most favorable conditions for birth:
"Grizzly bears begin to look for mates in the spring and early summer. Females can mate with more than one male during her breeding season. When a female grizzly becomes pregnant, the development of the embryo temporarily stops for several months, a process called “delayed implantation”. Delayed implantation is characteristic of all bear species and some other families of carnivores, including weasels and seals. If a female bear is unable to gain enough weight during the summer and fall, her body will tell her to not proceed with the pregnancy and the embryo will reabsorb. This gives her a head start on gaining enough weight to have a successful pregnancy the following year. When female grizzlies enter hibernation, the embryo implants in her uterus and begins gestation. In January or February, female grizzly bears give birth to 1-4 cubs (usually 2). The female will care for her young inside the den until spring when they finally step out into the world."

Some miscellaneous Bear resources:

Other bear species:

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