Home Features Life Feature 18 December 2018 Once more common than brown bears, cave bears didn't survive the last ice age. Could their sad end be down to their diet, or just to being bears of very little brain? By Chris BaraniukIF YOU go down underground today, look out for a big surprise. If you go into a cave, anyway, be sure to adjust your eyes. For many caves, in Europe at least, contain the remains of a curious beast. It’s not an olm or a bat that’s deceased – it’s a cave bear. Cave bears died out at least 24,000 years ago, but they were once very common. In fact, they left so many bones that during the first world war, they were used to provide phosphates for fertilisers and bombs. Plenty of skulls and skeletons still remain in caves across a swathe of Eurasia, from Spain to south-central Russia, and this treasure trove has allowed palaeontologists to piece together the bear’s story. We know, for … [Read more...] about The mysterious demise of Europe’s massive cave bears
Polar bear fur
Video PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 September 2018 Stacia Briggs and Siofra Connor It's said that King Gurgunt and his treasure are buried in Norwich Castle mound. Picture: Jamie Honeywood Archant Let’s weave a Weird Norfolk Fairytale of our own: pull up a chair, huddle closer to the fire and let me begin with the curious tale of King Gurgunt and the Frozen Bear. In truth, we cannot claim that Norwich’s King of the Hill has any knowledge whatsoever of the frozen bear, but one should never let fact get in the way of a good fairytale and both stories are enchanting in their own strange way.Norwich Castle isn’t lacking in ghostly stories, ransacking attempts or regal visits, but our story begins long before the castle came to be, when a mythical King (always the best kind) and the son of Bellinus, decided to settle in Norwich – quite literally, as it turned out.King Gurgunt was so fond of Norwich that he built the Castle and established … [Read more...] about Weird Norfolk: King Gurgunt and the Frozen Bear of Norwich
By Washington Post | PUBLISHED: July 30, 2018 at 4:30 am | UPDATED: July 30, 2018 at 9:56 am By Allyson Chiu | The Washington Post In the middle of the Arctic Ocean, a collection of islands dot the icy waters between Norway and the North Pole. Described as “a genuine Arctic fairy tale,” the archipelago is named Svalbard, which translated means “cold coasts.” There, amid craggy mountains and barren tundra, polar bears outnumber people, wildlife roams freely and nature knows no bounds. While most photos taken in the Svalbard islands show idyllic scenes of walruses napping on ice floes or reindeer grazing in the middle of town, a picture of a polar bear taken over the weekend has sparked widespread anger. The bear is seen lying on its side on a gray sand beach. Its mouth is slightly open and a dark crimson smear stains the white fur around its neck. It’s dead – shot “for reasons of self-defense” after attacking a Hapag-Lloyd Cruises … [Read more...] about Killing of polar bear that attacked cruise employee on remote Arctic island sparks debate
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page David Scharfenberg Globe Staff July 13, 2018 Gus, a polar bear at the Central Park Zoo, swam ceaselessly. He’d dive into his pool, slither across the bottom, surge to the surface, and backstroke to the other side. Then, he’d tuck his head into the water and do it again. And again. And again. Twelve hours a day. Every day. Gus was New York’s woolliest neurotic. And when the tabloids got hold of his story in the mid-1990s, it took off. David Letterman cracked wise. The rock band The Tragically Hip asked, “What’s Troubling Gus?” And the $25,000 the zoo spent on an animal behaviorist became a national punchline.But a couple of decades later, the joke has lost a bit of its zing. Gus’s compulsive behavior, a growing pile of research suggests, is distressingly common among captive animals. The gorillas behind the glass are plucking … [Read more...] about Did humans drive this polar bear insane?
Personal heating products have always scared me. The idea of getting into a bed with an electric blanket appeals about as much as a romantic bath with my toaster. So when researchers propose a shirt that you plug into the mains, my response is: yeah, nah. But the research is quite interesting, made even better by the inclusion of a gratuitous polar bear picture. Polar bears, according to Chris's compendium of tru facs (patent pending), are most famous for being the animal least-likely to express regret after accidentally chewing off your left foot. Equally famously, polar bears seem to be able to cope with some rather cold weather. It is this latter fact that has caught the attention of researchers who have replicated the insulating properties of polar bear fur in a weavable thread. Polar bear fur faces some tough challenges. Being insulating is not enough: it also needs to maintain that insulation when the bear's coat is soaked through after swimming from one ice floe to another. … [Read more...] about Spun and frozen silk provides polar bear-like insulation