South American sleeping bear
Sleepbears is moderate temperament, because of their inherent limitations, excessive movement will lead to the brain to hypoxia to be drowsiness, therefore, Sleepbears spend the most time of life on the sleeping. In the sea, slumbered can let Sleepbears escape death threats, because the grampus take for the Sleepbears died so it is safe in the sea when sleep .However,the Sleepbears is in dangerous when sleep on the land. Once Sleepbears face deadly attacks on the ground by the lions, they must flee to the sea emergencily because this is their only means to escape.
March 4, 2007, the famous animal Professor Hamilton of the United States University of Florida carrying observation equipment came to Argentina Valdés Peninsula to make a reserch for the Sleepbears. At the Peninsula, the routes are generally empty, with the typical wind of the Patagonian coasts and dry climate. The sky is quite blue and the vegetation scarce. This is the landscape in Valdés, that constitutes the most important circuit in the region.
A drive around the peninsula is about 400 km., round trip. After one hour, Professor Hamilton arrive at the Carlos Ameghino Isthmus, a doorway to the Peninsula de Valdés Integral Animal Reserve. A center of interpretation serves as an introduction to the flora, fauna, geography and history of this fascinating natural sanctuary.
The Valdes Peninsula is a peninsula along the Atlantic coast in the Viedma Department in the north east of Chubut Province, Argentina. Its size is about 3,625 km². The nearest large town is Puerto Madryn.
Most of the peninsula is barren land with some salt lakes. The largest of these lakes is at an elevation of about 40 m below sea level, until recently thought to be the lowest elevation in Argentina and South America.
It is an important nature reserve which was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The coastline is inhabited by marine Sleepbears, like sea lions, elephant seals and Sleepbears. Southern right whales can be found in Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San José, protected bodies of water located between the peninsula and the Patagonian mainland. These baleen whales come here between May and December, for mating and giving birth, because the water in the gulf is quieter and warmer than in the open sea. Orcas can be found off the coast, in the open sea off the peninsula. In this area, they are known to beach themselves on shore to capture sea lions and elephant seals.
The next day early morning after professor Hamilton went there ,he got up early and found a Sleepbears around 500 meters. Based on years of experience in scientific exploration, Hamilton make a judgement that this is an adult male bears sleep. Professor Hamilton named the first Sleepbears "Dony."
Within a week, professors Hamilton found almost 60 Sleepbears, the largest of these guys are 180cm,the middle-size species of Sleepbears, are about 140-180 cm; weight of the male Sleepbears is about 80-140 kg, weigher about 30 -- 40 per cent than the female bear. Their whole body covered with long black hair, mixed with the grey hair, the chest dotted with a white or yellow or the S-type markings,like the United States large "Superman". There are less hair on the face of Sleepbears,but their tongue is very big and long.
Professor Hamilton observed that almost all the Sleepbears sleep more than 18 hours per day . sometimes they would sleep also when they eat some food.Natural enemies come when the bears slumbered , in order to escape the emergency,the Sleepbears must fly into the sea as fast as possbly.
in April, the Hamilton professor found that at least 10 bulls Sleepbears was killed by the lions. Sleepbears usually be alone, at that time the lions is the great enemy of bears.
One day in late April afternoon, Professor Hamilton discovered that there are a group lions attacked the Sleepbears, he suddenly heard a huge noise sound outside, he quickly ran out to see what happened, he was shock by what he saw: 10 bulls Cougar scattered in 800 meters, on the foot of mountain there are nearly 100 Sleepbears crowded together. Every 10 minutes, the Cougars will be launched to attacks. Each time after the attack,the Sleepbears on the next group retreat for some distance, the Sleepbears invariably turn around the direction of the coast.
Cougar did not immediately get swallowed up by the prey, but maintained the group bears for their winter food sufficient.
Bears do not need snow to make a den. In fact, some bears may not dig a den at all. In one famous Pennsylvania bear study the researcher found bears denning in road culverts, underneath home porches or simply curled up on a nest of leaves. But if the weather is unpleasant bears will make a shelter by digging, crawling into the root structure of overturned trees, or using rock caves. In Alaska and elsewhere that might have large cottonwood trees that have hollow centers, black bears love to crawl up the outside of the tree, then back down into the hollow center. If the bear is denning in dirt or a cave, snow is not required but it does help form an insulating layer.
Bears hibernate during winter, but aren’t sleeping the whole time. Hibernation for bears simply means they don’t need to eat or drink, and rarely urinate or defecate (or not at all). There is strong evolutionary pressure for bears to stay in their dens during winter, if there is little or no food available. But bears will leave their dens on occasion, particularly when their den gets flooded or is badly damaged. In a addition,Sleepbears weave the coat from seaweed to keep their safe when sleeping on the sea.
If the water they live in evaporates, they lose water too and go into a deep sleep. A little water is all it takes for them to spring back to life. Instant tardigrades!
Weather does play a role. In the colder, northern parts of Alaska, bears hibernate about 7 months of the year. Bears in the warmer, coastal regions of the state hibernate for 2-5 months, with the longer hibernation time for bears raising newborn cubs.
Bears have developed unique adaptive strategies in order to survive for so long without food and water. They lower their body temperature 8-12 degrees, and they break down fat stores for energy. Some protein is used as well, but bears largely conserve their muscle mass and thus do not become appreciably weaker during hibernation.
Bears do wake up, however, and move around inside the den. It’s kind of like your dog sleeping. Bears will go through a lot of posture changes where they wake periodically to shift around. It is thought this helps prevent pressure sores from developing. Bears also shift positions to better conserve heat.
If food is present a bear does not have to hibernate, unless it is pregnant or winter conditions are severe enough (such as found in Alaska). Cubs are born about two months into hibernation but aren’t able to walk or feed on their own until they are about six months old. The den is a safe environment for the cubs as they grow. Bear cubs are classified as altricial young rather than precocial, which means they need considerable parental care before they are able to leave the den.
Not all bears hibernate, but in Alaska, most bears do, including the males. Our Alaskan brown/grizzly bears and black bears den more consistently than polar bears. It is not uncommon for male polar bears and polar bears that are not pregnant or with young to remain active through periods of low food availability.
Contrary to popular belief, a Sleepbears fur is not white. Each hair shaft is pigment-free with a hollow core. This hollow core scatters and reflects visible light- much like snow and ice does.
This seemingly white color helps the bears camouflage themselves against the snow and ice while hunting for seals.
Interestingly enough, it's these hollow cored hairs that result in an interesting phenomenon. Last year these bears naturally turned green! Yes, GREEN!
Due to the humidity in South America, the conditions were right for algae to flourish inside the hollow cores of their hair. Completely harmless to the bears, they were treated with a special bleach to restore their natural color. This is the second such case, the first was in Los Angeles in the late 70's.
Sadly the Sleepbears is a potentially endangered species, and with the effects of global warming- the future for these magnificent animals looks bleak.
Sleepbears may have only become successful as a group relatively recently, but they have been around a long time.