Science for Seniors – It’s A Bear’s Life
1 – Bear fun fact: There are eight species of bears on our planet., including the spectacled bear who lives in the cloud forest of South America and the sun bear who lives in the rain forest of in Southeast Asia. Other bears are: American black bear, brown bear, polar bear, giant pandas, Asiatic black bear, and sloth bear.
2 – Bear Trivia:
1) Question – Do bears sleep through the winter?
Answer – Brown bears, American and Asian black bears who live in the north eat as much as they can to build up fat supplies before sleeping for up to six months, without eating or drinking, during the winter when food supplies are limited.
2) Question – How big is a full grown North American brown bear?
Answer – They stand up to 7.5 feet tall and weigh up to 1, 760 pounds.
3) Question – What is the difference between a mother and a baby panda bear?
Answer – The mother can weigh up to 180 pounds while the baby at birth is about three ounces.
4) How did the Teddy Bear get his name?
Answer -President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub while hunting and the Washington Post made a cartoon about it. Based on this story, a toy store made a stuffed bear and called it the Teddy Bear.
3 – Photos of bears –http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/photos/bears/
Bear video suggestions – Bear Island, DVD by National Geographic.
4- Experiment: How Polar Bears thrive in arctic waters.
Materials needed – punch bowl, ice cubes, water and two 12 inch square pieces of plastic food wrap with a 1/2 inch layer of Crisco between the plastic.
Instructions – Have the resident place his/her hand in the cold bowl of water. Remove and dry the hand. Wrap the hand in the plastic Crisco sheets and return the resident’s hand to the cold water. The difference in temperature with and without the wrap demonstrates the way the bears’ thick skin, three inches of fat, makes it a creature suited only for arctic climates.