The Reason Behind The Bear Dance

Grizzly and Black bears in the Pacific Northwest have been filmed doing a little dance that hasn’t been previously observed in the wild, and researchers are homing in on the reason why.

1338390627551327176.jpgImage from Flickr

The bears, who stand up on their hind legs and rub their backs on trees in a fashion that’s not entirely unlike dancing, have an odd pattern to their cycle– they use the same trees over and over again, sharing with other bears, and even other species of bear. This has led scientists to believe that the trees are a chemical message post of sorts– the bears can communicate their status to one another easily without having to come into contact.

This is seemingly reinforced by the fact that females with cubs stay away from the trees and don’t engage in this behavior; it’s important that they stay out of the hearts and minds of males who might want to breed with them, who would attack their cubs.