When it came to anchoring bears, one of the more enduring mysteries about the iconic bear has always been the size of its teeth.
But a new study has found that the size isn’t what’s most important.
It turns out that the best predictor of whether a bear will be able to chew its way out of a hole is the size it weighs.
And the size and shape of a bear’s teeth tell us more about its ability to withstand the extreme pressure and temperature that the animal experiences when trapped inside its habitat.
So it seems that the most important indicator of whether or not a bear can chew its own way out is its weight.
That’s a very useful information for scientists.
“We know that the bigger the tooth, the more pressure the bear will experience and the longer the hole will last,” said study lead author Chris Schreiber, a research professor at the University of Washington.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It comes after several years of research that led to a much clearer picture of the relative strength of a human and a bear tooth.
“In the past, we’ve known that the stronger the tooth is, the stronger a bear is,” Schreib said.
“But the relationship between strength and tooth size has been elusive.
Our new study shows that a bear with a larger tooth can take a beating from a human even if they are standing a lot less than they should.”
Schreib and his team examined teeth from bears from Alaska, Canada, Mexico and Siberia.
They found that bears with larger teeth have a greater amount of bone tissue to work with and a more powerful bite than bears with smaller teeth.
They also discovered that larger teeth had an advantage over smaller ones.
“Our results showed that bears have stronger teeth than the average person and that they can hold their own against humans in a confrontation,” Schleib said in a news release.
“When we looked at the teeth of captive bears, we found that teeth from older bears had a more effective bite strength, meaning that these bears could actually withstand the higher impact forces of human-sized prey.”
Schleib and the rest of his team are now studying how the teeth on bears can help determine how much force an animal will be willing to take on in a fight.
In the meantime, the researchers are now using the same data to determine whether bears in the wild can survive being trapped inside their habitat for extended periods of time.
They’re hoping to find out, in the near future.