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Bear Intelligence

India brotherbear Offline
Grizzly Enthusiast
The Average Bear is Smarter than We Thought 
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Germany Jeffrey Offline
Regular Member

Bears are known for being extremely intelligent. They way they are solving problems and they even are known for using tools for solving problems. Some people reported that bears are known for even roll rocks into Bear traps to set off the trap and eat the bait safety. 

Brain to body mass ratio is the ratio of brain mass to body mass, which is hypothesized to be a rough estimate of the intelligence of an animal although fairly inaccurate in many cases. I would expect the bear to have a great brain to body mass ratio.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Social carnivores aren’t smarter—it’s all in the relative brain size

Animal intelligence varies widely. Some have cognitive abilities that were once thought to be limited to humans, while others seem to act purely on instinct. It's not simply a matter of having large brains; birds don't have especially large ones, but they can master complicated problems or learn the solution from others in their social network.
So what can explain animal intelligence? One general trend that has been noted is that the size of the brain relative to the rest of the body seems to matter. Birds may not have big brains on an absolute scale, but their brains are relatively large compared to their body mass. Others have also noted that lots of the animals we consider smart seem to operate in social groups. These include birds, primates, elephants, and dolphins.

A new study looks at problem-solving across a wide range of carnivores and finds mixed support for these ideas. Belonging to a social group didn't seem to make a difference, but having a large brain to body ratio did. The surprising (or perhaps worrying) thing is that the brain to body ratio was high in some of the biggest carnivores tested: bears.
The approach used here was simple, if limited. Researchers had devised a metal puzzle box that they could put food into. They took versions of this box, scaled for animal size, to zoos, where they handed it over to 140 different carnivores, which collectively represented 39 different species from nine families. They then tracked how long the individuals took to solve the problem (if they did at all), along with a variety of other measurements. Over all, 23 of the species represented managed to solve the problem at least once, with 35 percent of the individuals being successful.
Within that average, however, were some clear winners and losers. Befitting their reputation for having a "will do anything to get food" attitude, 70 percent of the bears managed to solve the problem, an average brought down by the southeast Asia's sun bear, the smallest of the lot. Raccoons and their kin also performed well, with half of them successful; weasels of various sorts managed just under half. When looking for smarts, however, you can skip the mongooses, which completely failed to get at the food even once.
(Enigmatically, nine animals managed to open the box but didn't bother to take the food inside it. Eliminating these cases did not change the results.)
One of the striking things about that is that the mongooses were a social species. Other social species (like wolves) did reasonably well, but in the end, it was a wash: social species had no advantage in this test. Rating the species for manual dexterity, which might make the task easier, showed no correlation.
What did matter was the brain size relative to body mass. You'd think something as large as a bear might need an enormous brain to compensate, but that's apparently not the case. The authors tested the volumes of some individual brain regions but found none of them showed a statistically significant connection to the success of the animal. And the weak correlation between absolute brain size and success wasn't significant when relative brain size was taken into account.
These findings are in keeping with a number of past studies outside the carnivores. It also makes sense in terms of a general trend among the carnivores: there's no relationship between relative brain size and a tendency toward forming social groups among these animals.
There are a number of limitations to this study. As the authors note, they're testing a small number of animals and subjecting them to only one test—they're not capturing all the dimensions of intelligence. But within the limits, the experiments were remarkably thorough. Zoos can also have very different environments and enrichment programs, which could affect these outcomes, but the authors included a variable that tracked the zoo in their statistical model and found it had no predictive value.
Still, the results raise some questions about the relationship between intelligence and social interactions. And some of the researchers are testing the puzzle against carnivores in the wild, which could help avoid some of these limits.
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India Vegeta San Offline
( This post was last modified: 09-20-2018, 11:52 PM by Vegeta San )

That's a good information @brotherbear. Yes I know they're smarter than many people thought. 

Not only in intelligence, but bears are also sharp in other senses. Sharper than some experts thought..

Vision: Bears see in color and have sharp vision close-up.  Their distance vision (over two hundred yards) has not been tested.

Hearing:  Hearing is the black bear’s first line of defense against danger because they can hear in all directions (unlike smell) and they can hear farther than they can see in brushy forest.  Their ears develop to full size more quickly than the rest of their body.   Their hearing is over twice the sensitivity of human hearing and exceeds human frequency ranges.

Smelling:  Their smelling ability is extremely good.   The limits are untested.  Their nasal mucosa area is about 100 times larger than in humans.

Bears are thought to have the best sense of smell of any animal on earth. For example, the average dog’s sense of smell is 100 times better than a humans. A blood hound’s is 300 times better. A bear’s sense of smell is 7 times better than a blood hound’s or 2,100 times better than a human.

Eye vision: This is actually a common misconception. Yes, bears do have an amazing sense of smell, but it does not make up for a lack of vision because they actually have excellent eyesight. Bears can see just as well as humans do during the daytime, but it is during the night that their fantastic vision pulls out all the stops. Like your family’s dog or cat, bears have amazing night vision. There is a reflective membrane on the back of their eye called the tapetum lucidum which reflects light and causes light sensitive cells to react a second time to the light and therefore greatly enhances their vision at night. This is why if you see a picture of them at night, their eyes look greenish.
So don’t be fooled….those bears will probably see you before you see them!

Another source of eye vision:
Some people think that bears’ amazing sense of smell must make up for a lack of vision. In fact, bears’ eyesight is at least as good as humans’.They also have excellent night vision due to a reflective membrane on the back of their eye.

Although, I don't think they can easily get ambushed by bigcats as some experts thought. Bears are known to track tiger trails, right! Well, a predator tracking a predator will always be aware. For example jackals and other small scavengers. Unlike herbivores, bears has better senses and was intelligent.

Tigers are ambush predators, right. But you can see not every hunt of a tiger isn't ambush. They preyed on even bovines, face to face. Ursids are smarter and has better senses than bovids, though I don't think they can easily get ambushed. I honestly won't believe on tiger hunting bear theory suggested by some experts. I mean ambushes occurred in some cases but not all hunts are ambushes. It's safe to say less than half of the hunts might be ambushes. Because bears have amazing senses and are smarter. Maybe smarter than their predators (tigers)!
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India brotherbear Offline
Grizzly Enthusiast

Jeffrey and Vegeta San; both great information. Thank you.
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