Latest Issue of Science News


News

Hibernation concentrates chemicals

Some pollutants build up in grizzly bears even as they doze through the winter, tests of the animals' hair and fat indicate.

Hibernating bears don't drink, eat, or excrete waste, so food- and waterborne contaminants neither enter nor leave their bodies. Nevertheless, chemical concentrations in the animals' fat may change as they use up that energy source.

The body converts some compounds into water-soluble metabolites that get excreted in urine. In a slumbering grizzly, such metabolites might accumulate.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.