The feeding behavior of the brown bear

The feeding behavior of the brown bear

The study of the formation of eating disorders is essential to identify the characteristics of an adult animal nutrition. Food-getting response to certain types of food can be configured very easily and can be traced in the future without significant change attitudes. However during ontogeny originally developed food-getting patterns are changing, depending on the environmental conditions and the age of animals, which determines their ability to getting and feed intake.

In ontogeny eating behavior improved in the direction of minimizing behavioral acts and general motor activity, ensuring the achievement of the final result — the specific consumption of food. Although a wide range of consumable bear plant and animal feed, food-getting behavior of the animal is well-defined elements — unitary reactions [69], which are manifested in its food activities in various combinations, depending on the nature of forage and adverse circumstances.

We have already noted that the bears are used by many plants only in a certain phase of the growing season. For example, most of the grains they eat only in their early stages of development, and umbrella — in the budding stage. In this regard, in the first case, food-getting behavior will have a picture of grazing on low-growing, and the second — on the tall grass that therefore include additional behavioral acts. Some impact on food-getting activity has power and seasonality.

Finally, the predatory behavior of this animal is different from that of other large carnivores (wolf, tiger) is not only a set of techniques of obtaining the victim, but also a strong personality, sometimes going beyond the boundaries of certain common practices and acts of predation.

Orienting reaction to the components of the environment, to grow into a tentative research, is shown at the cubs soon after the family of the den. The main reason for the manifestation of this reaction, in our opinion, is hungry, always accompanying cubs in their endless walks through the woods after her mother. Have seen in zoos and other places where contained small cubs, they do not pay attention to grows around them by vegetation. People considering starvation great misfortune for all life on earth, did not give the kids go hungry, so the grasses they just did not need. In natural conditions Bears know what hunger is, back in the den, where the mother feeds them very sparingly. It is not very indulge them with milk and after leaving the den — the remains of her body fat are at this time not only for milk production and maintenance functions of the body in a state of low activity, as it was winter in the den. Most of these reserves is spent on providing sufficiently high motor activity and loss of energy through heat transfer is greatly increased during the spring to move the bear's melting snow and puddles in the windy and wet weather. That has cubs aged 3-3.5 months. manifest themselves in the hope of something lead to profit.

Of course, it is important in the formation of food-getting behavior in the family of bears has imitative response. Lactating bear vegetation, published with this sounds very similar to those that produce cubs in the act of sucking (chomping, smacking, snorting, etc.), be sure to attract the attention of young, and they are also trying to capture the sprouts of grass in the place where feeding mother. This behavior bears that are just beginning to feed under the nose of her mother, we saw twice: April 17, 1972 and April 20, 1977, in both cases, the family was on the sun thawed, where a bear ate forest spreading.

During the experimental work it was found that bears are capable and self-feed (fertilize) herbaceous vegetation as its growing season, the first time we observed eating cubs at the age of 3.5 months. lanceolate Chickweed (Stellaria holostea L.) on 27 April, and in May they were fed by many species of plants (boron, Stellaria, cuff, etc.), without causing preference for any of them.

Apparently, the formation of a particular food skills in response to certain stimuli of the natural environment depends not only on education but also on the maturation of neurohumoral regulators [65], providing the appearance of the animal has an inner need. This ultimately determines the formation of a focused response, ensuring the end result — completes the behavioral effects [2, 129]. Undoubtedly, they easily form a complex behavioral forms are determined sequentially assigned a fixed selection of reactions, from which there is rapid development of conditioned reflexes to certain food stimuli. (This situation is perfectly demonstrated LV Krushinsky 68] in an experiment with the dog, when she instantly begins to produce a conditioned reflex to a stranger to her before that time the smell of edible substances.)

Do hungry bears in the wild estimated response after initial contact with the components of the environment, including food (grasses, found under the bark of larvae), quickly develops into research, which, in turn, causes the display of the search and study of the reaction — it was established by us during walks with cubs.

Leading role in the registration of stimuli at a distance belonged to the visual analyzer. Sprouts of green grass on the bumps produced at a level surface debris twigs, individual stones and the like from a distance of 5-8 m certainly attracted the attention of bears: they came to these subjects and examined them — sniffing, touching his paws, and very often the language, sometimes far his thrusting. Plants usually bear captured mouth and broke off, often helping paws. Sometimes, capturing his mouth once interested subject, after some time to throw it. Repeatedly bears were taken in a variety of mouth pebbles, twigs, branches, dry tufts of moss, etc., and soon their spat. It was also (at a later date) and a three-fold truncation spitting caustic buttercup flowers and double fragrant chamomile (Matricaria matricarioides L.). This behavior in the period of association with the natural environment was observed in ungulates (Baskin, 1976).

To many stimuli positive alimentary reaction appears after the first contact with them, such as the smell of sheep and cow manure, flowering clover, mouse and bird nests, etc. The sound emitted by flying gadfly or wasps, also attracted bears, they were trying to catch these insects .

These examples show that certain stimuli of the natural environment, especially the olfactory coming from certain components, food motivation emerges from the internal needs of [129], which determines the selection of images of the environment to meet this need. [2] Further animal adapts to produce some food with the least expenditure of energy and time, ie, he formed food-getting, I stereotype.

Thus, food-getting behavior of the brown bear, based on the basis of fixed selection of reactions to many food components of the natural environment, is formed not only by the reaction of imitation, to and through trial and error, which ultimately ensures the formation of unitary food reactions.

During the experiment, the first multi-day tour with the bear in the natural lands was held from June 17 to 19. Bear age 5 months, weight 16.4 kg. The total route length of 40 km, the length of a one-day route 17 km of June 15, June 18, 12-14, and June 19, 15 km. The route passes through a variety of habitats — old and young forest, meadow, meadows, glades and swamps. Before the release of the bear did not feed in the evening and morning. According to vozvrascheinn aviary bear weight was 16.1 kg. For a walk on July 17 he ate enough food variety, with some food components have a contact for the first time (Table 14).

The second tour lasted three cubs from 10 to 25 July in order to recognize "weight stabilization" in the transition from the regime of feeding to independent feeding natural foods (see article number 5). This period also noted the formation of the characteristics of different food-getting stereotypes — when procuring undersized (cereals, cuffs, etc.) and tall (shoots of raspberry, willow-herb), herbaceous vegetation, and leaves of trees and blueberries. Show an active burrowing activity aimed at obtaining from ground nests of ants, mice.

Powered by low vegetation. We attributed to stunted plant height 30 cm ke food-getting activities of the cubs was the following. Finding food object with analyzers (visual, olfactory sometimes), the kids focused on him, then approached, seized mouth and broke off. Usually bear eats ripped plant rarely spits. If the supply of food are significant, it can be grazed long in one place, choosing to interest him in form of the plant, but often does not shrink at the same and gets in the way of other species. Food-getting behavior of the bear, grazing in areas with low vegetation, does not differ from that of an adult bear (151).

Succulent shoots of raspberry and rose-tea extracts bear sitting or standing on his hind legs. In this case, a certain role to play auxiliary actions performed forepaws. Kid captures plant paw to her and pulls skusyvaet top, then takes on another plant, and so on until the can reach the closest to it stems. After that he moved to a new location — and all repeats. When this behavior occurs in the bush appear as if trampled plots — koriozye point. Certain kinds of umbrella, such as a bear whistle, animals eat a little differently: stop at each plant thoroughly and eat around it or skusyvayut part of the stem and eat on the run that took in the mouth. Especially large stalks bear paw knocks down and eats a juicy part.

Initially, only those cubs eating leaves (hazel, maple, aspen, ash, etc.), which could break the ground. Then became interested in juicy leaves is located high above the ground (approximate reaction). Sometimes the bear, trying to get to seduce him leaves, climbed up a tree growing near or closest stump and from time to time looked exactly attracted to its leaves. But soon the kids up this practice as unsuccessful. However, later they were trained to get the leaves.

When trying to reach the desired branches kid stood on his hind legs, and clutched the front trunk, trying to climb a tree. If the tree was quite thick, climbing along the trunk, he could not reach the end of branches, where there were succulent leaves, and move on thin branches of fear and in the end come down. (It should be noted that the bears are afraid of falling off the tree and begin to actively climb trees just after purchased! This skill.) But if you come across a fine tree, it began to sag under the weight of the bear, and he was going over his paws, made it to the young leaves at the ends of branches. But as soon as he managed to break the 2.1-leaf as tree slips out of his clutches, I returned to the original position. Still, the kid got some reinforcements — a few leaves.

Pretty quickly bears have learned to recognize feasible for them to trees, ducks and held their feet, crushing to the ground. Only once they were wrong by choosing a thicker tree, and then it was fun to watch as a kid, persisting several times tried to bend. Convinced of the futility of his efforts, he left it alone.

Thus, the actions of a teddy bear in reinforcements help to create food skills during the entire subsequent life is fundamentally changed. All major forms of eating disorders, with the exception of predatory, formed a bear in a short age period from 3-3.5 (April) up to 5-6 months. (June — July), and subsequently only complemented and enriched during ontogeny through training.

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