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Bears Have Evolved An Clever Solution To A Winter Plumbing Problem
Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 by eNature

Most of our readers like bears and want to help protect them.  But almost no one would want anything to do with a bear plug.

Not once you’ve heard where it’s been.

The bear plug is a curious product of bear hygiene.  Bears do not use their bedrooms for bathrooms, and excrement is never found in a bear’s den.

So how do they survive the time holed up in their winter den without relieving themselves? That’s where the bear plug comes in.

A few days before retiring for the winter, a bear begins gorging itself on indigestible materials, things like leaves and pine needles and even pieces of its own hair. This roughage passes along the digestive tract and lodges low in the large intestine, forming an anal plug as much as one foot long. And there it remains until spring, when the bear emerges … and finally gets some relief.

Click here for more about the American Black Bear »

Click here for more about the Grizzly Bear »

(3) CommentsPermalink

Comments

The Bears found a great way to survive through the winter.  And a way to have to keep from making a mess in the Den!  Wonderful!

Posted by Jackie Branagan on 2/25

If their last meal is the indigestible fiber that forms a plug, what is it holding back?  Does a small amount of waste continue to accumulate in the colon even though the bears are hibernating and not eating?

Posted by Robert on 2/28

This has nothing to with their urinary tract.  Urine would not be plugged up this way.

Posted by Alice Getchell on 3/1

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