Not bad science

Not bad science

New discoveries in animal behavior and cognition

Any Black Bear Experts Out There?


The male descending the tree while the female remains at the top. She followed shortly after.

I recently took a trip to Yellowstone national park, which, as expected, was an amazing place. The geysers and hot water pools were beautiful; walking around there you felt like you were on another planet. Just south of yellowstone, I stayed in the Grand Teton national park for a couple nights, and there I was lucky enough to see two black bears playing in a tree together. The ranger I talked to said that they were a male and a young female, but that their play behaviour (i.e. courtship) was unusual for this time of year as it's not mating season. I tried to read up on black bear play and courtship behaviour but I dind't find anything- if anyone has any insights I'd love to hear them!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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