One of the researchers hypothesized that if the same study were performed again the following year with three new Black Bears instead of the Black Bears from the current studies, the pattern of oxygen consumption would be relatively the same. Do the results of the study support this hypothesis?
Researchers studied a species of hibernating black Bears. Each year the Black Bears go into hibernation for a 5-7 month period. During this time, they do not consume any food. Researchers explored the metabolic processes that allow black Bears to survive for so long without eating.
Figures adapted from Hibernation in Black Bears: Independence of Metabolic Suppression from Body Temperature by Oivind Toien et al.
Researchers gathered black Bears and transported them to facilities in Alaska where they were placed in wooden box habitats. The researchers prepared to measure the Black Bears core body temperature and oxygen consumption during hibernation. Core body temperature was measured through implanted radio transmitters, and oxygen consumption was measured through the constant collection and analysis of air in the habitat. EMG was also surgically implanted to measure electrical activity. Results representative of a typical six-day period during hibernation can be observed in Figure 1.
Researchers had additionally installed devices to track the hibernating Black Bears movements including infrared cameras. Once awake, the researchers continued to analyze the Black Bears metabolisms to better understand the process of recovering from hibernation. After having done so, the researchers decided to graph the last several months of hibernation and the post hibernation period, as can be seen in Figure 2. The legend indicates different individual Black Bears. The dashed line indicates the average date the Black Bears woke up from hibernation.
Yes, all three Black Bears experienced a consistent decrease in oxygen consumption, magnifying as more time passed.
Yes, all three Black Bears experienced a similar trend in oxygen consumption at all time intervals suggesting individual Black Bears do not differ
No, some Black Bears had several degrees higher body temperature than others at the same point in time.
(B) Yes, all three Black Bears experienced a similar trend in oxygen consumption at all time intervals suggesting individual Black Bears do not differ in this regard. The question only inquires about oxygen consumption, so only consider the top graph of Figure 2. Because all three Black Bears followed a similar trend and there was no evidence to dispute that individual variance between Black Bears is important in determining oxygen consumption during hibernation, it is supported by the study that Black Bears are generally the same in this regard.