Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Autumn Bear

Here is a mixed-media painting I made recently using leaves, paint and mod podge. It is a painting of an Autumn Bear. In a couple of months he will be hibernating in a musty cave somewhere. He will probably dream about fresh fish and blackberry pies.

Here are some interesting facts about bears:

* Bears can smell up to 100 times better than a human. This is hard to imagine because this probably means that odors smell differently to a bear than to us. The bear is smelling aspects of a scent that our measly noses cannot pick up on. It is like trying to imagine what an undiscovered color would look like. I wonder what a strawberry smells like to a bear?

* Despite the Giant Panda's bear like appearance, many scientists thought that the Panda was not indeed a bear at all but a member of the raccoon family. I remember being told this when I was a kid and I was very (or should I say 'beary'..har har har) disappointed. But after an investigation using DNA evidence, scientists discovered that Pandas are part of the bear family after all. I like racoons, so I don't know why it should matter to me, but I am happy that Panda's are real bears.

* Bears are extremely intelligent animals. Sometimes they roll large rocks into bear traps so they can safely enjoy the food/bait without being trapped themselves.

*The largest carnivorous animal to have lived on land was the Short-Faced bear. This gigantic bear was 6.5 feet tall at the shoulder when standing on all fours. He lived on the prairies of North America. But this bear died of 12,000 years ago. When I went to the Smithsonian Natural History museum several years ago, I thought that the ancient animal bones were even more interesting than the dinosaur bones. Dinosaurs are so iconic that they are familiar. But so many of the mammals that once existed I am unfamiliar with...such as the giant Short Faced bear. It is hard to imagines such a huge bear lumbering across North America

(All bear fact info found at this website about random bear facts)


Optimistic Existentialist said...

This post reminded me of when I was an adolescent because I used to want to study bears for a living! They are truly beautiful creatures. I want to go to Yellowstone someday and see the Grizzly Bears.

brian said...

you did a nice job on your bear

Amber said...

Thank you both for the comments! I like the idea of being studying bears. They are very interesting animals. They manage to appear both ferocious and adorable.