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Grizzly Bears Feast on Thousands of Moths a Day: Drawing

October 22, 2013

I wrote a story about army cutworm moths and the bears that eat them around Yellowstone Park.

“Also known as miller moths, they are the adult form of an agricultural pest, the army cutworm, which migrates to mountain fields in early summer to feed on alpine flowers’ nectar. During the past 30 years, a handful of researchers have established the importance of moths as a food source for bears.

One group of scientists analyzed bear scat and revealed that a foraging grizzly could gobble 40,000 moths in a day. At that rate, the bear can consume about one-third of its yearly energy requirements in just 30 days. However, the moths’ habits—including where they mated, when they mated and how far they could migrate—have remained a mystery until recently.”


The 40k a day figure is crazy-sounding. One commenter said, “40,000 moths a day? Wouldn’t the bear have to use a large spoon to eat that many? I jest… is it really that many?”

In the spirit of the that jest, I imagined a bear trying to use a spoon. Of course, foraging bears in non-cartoon form probably stick to licking up moths by the mouthful.


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