facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Brown bear witnessed using tools

March 5, 2012 at 7:03 PM   |   Comments

GUSTAVUS, Alaska, March 5 (UPI) -- A British researcher says he's witnessed a bear in Alaska using a stone to exfoliate, the first time a bear has definitively been known to use a tool.

Volker Deecke of the University of Cumbria was on holiday in Alaska's Glacier Bay national park in July 2011 when he spotted a brown bear in shallow water pick up a small, barnacle-covered rock and rub it over its face for a minute, NewScientist.com reported.

The bear was moulting, Deecke said, and had big patches of fur hanging off its skin.

Bear that are moulting sometimes scratch themselves with their claws or rub up against trees.

"The barnacles may have given that exfoliating feeling," Deecke said.

After a minute or so, the bear dropped the rock, he said, but then it picked up another one and began rubbing itself some more.

Bears have large brains for their body size suggesting they are clever, Deecke said, although he acknowledged too few tests of bear cognition have ever been conducted to say for sure.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
2
Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV
3
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
4
NASA launches project to get citizens involved in Mars exploration NASA launches project to get citizens involved in Mars exploration
5
Tuna fishermen are not happy about proposed marine sanctuary Tuna fishermen are not happy about proposed marine sanctuary
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback