Sunday Sketch: Seedy Work

When we think of bear diets we usually think of their love of fish, such as salmon. However, the diet of the Alaskan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) includes substantial amounts of fruit, and these bears are some of most important seed dispersers in their local region. These bears eat plenty of fleshy fruits and their scat can contain hundred of seeds. The process of traveling through the intestines of the bear and the composition of the scat encasing the seeds are both known to affect how well the seeds germinate. More than anything, the transportation of seeds away from their original location is a most important service provided by these voracious eaters.

Sketch by Megan McElligott (@MeganM_McE on twitter). Fact by Adrian Perez.

Source:

Willson, M.F. and Gende, S.M., 2004. Seed dispersal by brown bears, Ursus arctos, in southeastern Alaska. The Canadian Field-Naturalist118(4), pp.499-503.

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