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MLA Full: "A Bear Skull." YouTube, uploaded by thebrainscoop, 24 January 2013,
MLA Inline: (thebrainscoop, 2013)
APA Full: thebrainscoop. (2013, January 24). A Bear Skull [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (thebrainscoop, 2013)
Chicago Full: thebrainscoop, "A Bear Skull.", January 24, 2013, YouTube, 04:06,
Wanna see photos of the black bear skull?! CHECK IT:

The bear skull post-cleaning:


The Brain Scoop is written and hosted by:
Emily Graslie

Created by:
Hank Green

Directed, Edited, and Scored by:
Michael Aranda

Special Thanks to Adam Coe for bringing in the bear skull!

Transcriptions provided by Rachel Prunty, Michaela Medková, Martina Šafusová, Tony Chu, João Henrique Diniz, Andrés García Molero, Gaia Zaffaroni, Seth Bergenholtz, John-Alan Pascoe, Kelleen Browning, and Marie-Elsa Beaudon -- thank you!!
[Emily Graslie] It is so old!

[Male Voice] Yeah, that’s what he was saying; it was the oldest one he’d seen. Look at the molars, too.

[EG] Yeah, holy cow!

So, yeah, well into his twenties.

[EG] These P2, would normally, I mean, they have a double cusp on there and it’s almost worn all the way down to the root. This – it smells really bad.


[EG] Well, it smells kinda bad.

Kinda bad.

[EG] Yeah, this is nice. This is crazy, this is a huge pathology.


[EG] Look at that huge dental abscess!

So that decayed away like that? That’s the bone decaying away? Or did that just get worn off when he was dead?

[EG] Well, it kinda looks like, okay –

Looks like some of the areas of the bone, looks like it was just sticking out, like right here.

[EG] Compared to the, yeah, compared to the other side, you have this – this was all swollen here, where this root takes up about so much space, you can see where this is expanded and there’s, um, all of this additional swelling and growth on there. And then you can tell it’s an old injury because he lost the tooth – this has worn over – and there is actually, where–

So he lost that tooth when he was alive.

[EG] Yeah, oh yeah.

That’s frigging cool.

[EG] Yeah, no, this is awesome.


[EG] Um, so yeah, this is definitely an old injury. This is crazy! Is that a broken tooth or, like, actually embedded into the front of his mouth.

I have no idea.

[EG] I think probably–

Hm, yeah

[EG} –that probably just broke out.

Well, there’s a broken thing there, yeah. Maybe.

[EG] That is crazy. You getting this on camera? You can – but look at it! You can see that, how worn that tooth is? Right there?

You could probably take it out, it’ll probably stay cool but –

[EG] Eh, I don’t want to test it right now.

Adam had it in the freezer for the last few days, I think.

[EG] This looks great – oh! and this is all cool, too! It has all this bone loss and swelling–

Yeah, that’s–

[EG] I would estimate that this guy’s really old. I mean, I don’t know to age definitively...

Yeah, and that’s, the – uh, I was talking to the game warden; he said he sent it to his bear guy, and he said that one way to tell is cutting a tooth. He said tw– late twenties, well into his twenties. So...

[EG] Oh yeah,


[EG] I’d believe it. ‘Cause these are so worn, the cusps are totally gone on ‘em.

That’s cool that you can tell that all that was... while he was still alive. That that didn’t happen after he died.

[EG] Oh, no way. I mean, there’s all this wear on this, too. That means that he was still eating on this tooth when–


[EG] After it was damaged. This is why a lot of bears get angry...
That’s why I thought he was a grizzly. I mean, his body was big; I mean, his skeleton was big. Do you have a grizzly skull so I can compare it?

[EG] Yeah, we do. They’re um, they’re on that side of the museum, but... This guy is crazy.

Was he – do I need to wash him off to get the– for the bee– for the beetles?

[EG] You know? I don’t even think that you need to put it in the beetles.

I don’t?

[EG] No.

Hold up. There were a couple chunks. There was a little bit on his jaw, and there’s–

[EG] They’ll come off, um, if you soak it overnight in hydrogen peroxide–


[EG]  –in a 3% solution. And we can do that in the lab too, all of the tissue, it’ll become loose after it’s re-hydrated, and you’ll be able to pull it right off.

‘Cause yeah, there’s a little bit down there.

[EG] There, thank you, Hank.

[Hank hands the skull to another man, who says] Holy Crap!

[EG] That is a huge one, that is a grizzly bear skull.

See, that’s what I was wondering about about the sa- so, the sagittal crest I saw a picture out there... So, sagi– yeah, way bigger on a grizzly.

[EG] So, and then this is how you can definitively tell if it’s a grizzly or a black bear: obviously, this guy’s a lot smaller, but this last molar is going to be at least 31cm.

Is this a Montana grizzly?

[EG] Yeah, this was collected by, um, John and Frank Craighead.

The Craighead brothers? Yeah.

[EG] The Craighead brothers, yeah. In Yellowstone park in the 1960s.

I guess there was that – those two that died that were 700 pounds or more.

[EG] Yeah, I mean these guys are huge, too. So, this is one whole tooth, and it’s absolutely massive.

And this guy... doesn’t really have any of those left.

[EG] No. And his are prob-

And his are worn – and his are missing

[EG] They’re probably half that size.

God, that’s a... big freakin’ animal.

[EG] This guy is massive. This one was really old, too.

How big do they think that bear was?

[EG] I wouldn’t know. Um... big.


[EG] Large sized bear-size. But yeah, that’s awesome.

Fo’ shizzle.

[EG] That was awesome! This is gonna be on YouTube, by the way.

[Credits] still has brains on it.