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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Ask A Bear: More Active During A Full Moon?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Q: I have theorized that bear activity is significantly greater on nights with a full moon than on nights under a new moon. And as a corollary there would be greater activity on first quarter evenings than mornings and greater on last quarter mornings than evenings. Can you confirm or deny these allegations? —Alan A. Vetter, via email

A: Surprisingly enough, your idea that my behavior is influenced by lunar activity isn't loony—but you've got it backwards. According to the Great Bear Almanac, there is evidence that grizzlies are least active during a full moon, and most active during a new moon (though not on the night of a new moon).

Bears are naturally diurnal animals, but I'm so adaptable that I regularly switch to nocturnal behavior, especially in areas where I encounter humans regularly. In areas where I'm hunted, I tend to be very nocturnal.

Additionally, I'm often active during rain, fog, and most active between the temperatures of 42-52 degrees Fahrenheit. What can I say? I like climate-controlled conditions as much as you do.


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Thanks for the new word, "diurnal". But I thought bears were crepuscular?


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