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MLA Full: "Most of a Bear." YouTube, uploaded by thebrainscoop, 12 April 2013,
MLA Inline: (thebrainscoop, 2013)
APA Full: thebrainscoop. (2013, April 12). Most of a Bear [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (thebrainscoop, 2013)
Chicago Full: thebrainscoop, "Most of a Bear.", April 12, 2013, YouTube, 11:48,
We're gonna take a walk outside today - gonna see what we can find today.


The Brain Scoop is written and hosted by:
Emily Graslie

Special Guests:
Adam Coe, with help from Sabrina Coe, Stefan Chin, and Katelyn Salem -- thanks, everyone!

Executive Producer:
Hank Green (

Directed, Edited, Animated, and Scored by:
Michael Aranda (

Special film help from:
Stefan Chin (

Special special bonus thank you to Martina Šafusová, Diana Raynes, Giulia Mancini, Filipe Valcovo, Catherine Côté, Katerina Idrik, John-Alan Pascoe, Andrés García Molero, Eva Topitz, Tomer Halevy, Tony Chu, Nur Iskandar Bin Nuruddin, and Seth Bergenholtz for helping with the closed captions on this one!!! YAY!
*intro music*

Emily: We're going to go find a bear, skeleton, in the woods. We're here with Adam, the groundskeeper who brought in the bear skull one of the first weeks we had the show, and it's finally nice enough today to go into the woods and find the rest of it, so we're taking a hike.

Emily: I don't know where we're going
Adam: I just have the GPS
Emily: He's got the GPS
Adam: Basically, we're 1.55 miles from where the bear's at
Emily: Adam came up here a couple of months ago, on a hike, and found a black bear skeleton on the side of the road. So he collected the skull, brought it in to me, and, uh, it was the oldest black bear skull I'd ever seen. So, he had recorded the GPS coordinates, and now we are going to follow them and go Geo-caching for a bear!

Adam: Bald Eagle
Emily: Oh, there we go!
Adam: It's really big. Ridin' the thermals!
Emily: Yeah, there he goes.

Emily: We got to ford the river
Adam: I was going to say, it's like Oregon Trail, but I'm not sure if you guys remember Oregon Trail.
Emily: Oh, hell yeah!
Adam: How old are you, Emily? You're young!
Emily: I'm 23
Adam: 23?!
Emily: You're 23!
Adam: You don't know about Oregon Trail!
Emily: Ah, yeah I do! I played that on my Windows 95! I remember, my favorite part of the Oregon Trail was leaving, um, I-my profession was always a doctor cause they made the most, stockin' up on bullets, leaving with no other provisions
Adam: You're just shooting everything
Emily: Shooting everything, and then, naming my characters things, like, politically incorrect, like God and Satan and be like 'Satan has died of dysentery.'

Adam: So y-people don't think trees are as cool as animals?
Emily: No, not really
Adam: I don't know. Trees are way more fascinating. Animals are lame, and
Emily: Aw, don't even!
Adam: Well, they can move around for their environment, trees stuck!
Emily: I know
Adam: Look at the adaptations of plants, compared to animals, cause animals are lame
Emily: I like animal behavior, it's way more interesting
Adam: Look at this! Look at this right here! Houndstongue! One of the most amazing, and-
Emily: It just looks, looks like like animal food.
Adam: But it's uh, invasive species! But think about how, how does it cross all the way from Eurasia, I believe is where it's fr-native to, to this country?
Emily: Through the poop of other animals!
Adam: On somebodies wool pants, what's that?
Emily: Through the poop of other animals!
Adam: No, it just grabs on, it developed a little hooks. The Velcro!
Emily: The pooping.
Adam: No.
Emily: Pooping is the answer to all of this.

Emily: Bird nest identification is really difficult unless it's a specialized bird like a-you know, like a Bowerbird, who hoard fancy things
Adam: Yeah
Emily: Or, or weavers, or woodpeckers
Adam: Was going to say, what about Ravens, you could probably i-identify them by-
Emily: Yeah, by-
Adam: -the shiny-
Emily: Size, and, you know, Eagle nests and hawks have all like, you know, make poop walls and stuff.

Emily: Smells like-
Adam: Like air?
Emily: Like angels singing. Smells like-
Adam: [unintelligible]
Emily: Quiet

Adam: Uh, as the crow flies, it's now a third of a mile

Emily: I saw a fox earlier down there.
Adam: What's the genus and species of fox?
Emily: /Vulpes vulpes/
Adam: W-Why-What's with the double names?
Emily: Emphasis
Adam: So it's extra Vulpe-y?

Adam: Should be right up here! So... look around here. 
Emily: It's around here?
Adam: I thought it was ri-should be right here. That was a stra-
Emily: In the middle of the road?
Adam: It's right here, somewhere
Emily: Could it be, uh-
Adam: There it is
Emily: -right here?
Adam: Yep, that's it
Adam: There should be more then, some more right around here
Emily: There's a bit of bone right here... That's awesome
Adam: Right here, here's more!


Emily: I feel pretty awesome that we found it so quickly. It's just literally in the middle of the road.
Adam: Well I said, imagine I was standing right there, and I was like taking a layer off, and I was like, "Oh, that's a bear skull."
Emily: We might need that shovel.
Adam: Yup.
Emily: 'cause it's still kinda frozen on top. 

Emily: This looks like the, yeah, you got the scapula right here. It's been broken. This is going to be the humerus. And then this looks like the cervical vertebrae, but it might also be the os coccyx. It's hard to tell at this point. I'm finding all the ribs over here. 

Adam: Is this all you expected, Emily?
Emily: Yeah! This is great! I mean, I wasn't, I thought
Adam: I thought it was almost I mean, when I came out here it was, I mean, it was like the rib-cage was all one piece. The skull was right by the rib-cage, on top. And then there was like an arm and then there were legs that were sort of attached.

Adam: Alright Emily, what is that?
Emily: This bone?
Adam: Yeah. Looks like the hyloid bone.
Emily: Yeah it kinda does. The hyloid, or, yeah. It might also be part of the, um, sternum, but some of those bones tend to be a little fatter.

Emily: It's got a ton of scarring on it, from muscle attachments. It's another kind of aging indicator. An' it's all this additional growth around the edges - around the tubercles and that kind of thing. This is an ulna right here, which is part of one of the arm bones.

Emily: So the claw fits right over there. It attaches in there.  Pretty neat. We came to find some bones. We found some bones. And now I feel like Santa Claus going down the mountain with a bag full of goodies.  Except instead of sliding down a chimney with them I'm going to take them to my lab and dunk them in some hydrogen peroxide.  Ho ho ho.

Emily: Good evening.  Welcome to my lab, where I clean the bones of unsuspecting tourists, I mean bears.  Got a trash bag full of dirty bones.  And you might be wondering if we're going to put them in the dermestid colony and we're not going to do that because as you can tell there's really not a lot of flesh left on these.  So, I'll be scrubbing them clean and then we'll be putting them in a bath of hydrogen peroxide, where they will sit for the next 24 hours or so, which is going to help get rid of some of the smell and it's going to whiten the bones.  It'll make them look nice and pretty for the collection.

Emily: I'm not like trying to scrub one, each one of these bones spotlessly,  I'm just trying to remove the majority of um, like dirt chunks. I mean you can see there's like dirt and mud on it and grass.  So I'm just like doing a really quick scrub.  

Emily: There's a really good sign of the arthritis right here. Um, these are the thoracic vertebrae and you can see the bottom right here that there's additional bone growth that curves upward that you don't see on the other side.  And that overgrowth of uh bone is a sign of arthritis.  

Emily: Here's another really good one. Uh, this one is super obvious. You can see where the bone just started growing all the way around.  It looks an epiphysis, which is uh, an epiphysis is the end of a bone that fuses to the bone when an animal is growing.  You can see on the side here it's pitted and you can see where it kind of looks like cheese a little bit.  And it was growing around and uh attempting to fuse with the other vertebrae.  

Emily: Bath time! For the bear.  Heh heh.  Scrub a dub dub.  See if we can fit an entire bear in here.  

Emily: Making sure everything is under the level of where the water and peroxide is going to be.  Um, and we try to cram as many bones as possible into a container, um, mostly to save on peroxide because it's kind of expensive.  It comes in these big containers. Um this is 30% so we need to use extra caution because this is ten times as potent as the stuff you can get in the drug store.  

Emily: If you spill this 30% on your hand, you'll probably burn your hand off.  So we're gonna try not to burn our hand off today.  Three, four, five.  And this is the fun part.  

Emily: Oh this is reactive. You can see all of the gas coming off of it, that's kind of fun. 

Emily: Now we play the waiting game.  

Emily: And we're back! Ready to dump some stink water. The smell? It's like, it's like when you have to clean the drain in your bathroom.  I had a roommate, I love her to death, but she had really long red hair.  About once every other month I'd get the joy of taking a coat hanger and fishing out this - could only be described as a new species of mammal - from the drain itself.  It smells like that.  Smells like a wad of rotten soap scum hair.  
Emily: One time when I was doing this I wasn't wearing a face guard and I had two big horned sheep skulls that were soaking overnight and they were in a big tub and one was wet.  I grabbed it by the horn and was letting the peroxide water drain off of it and uh, it slipped out of my hand and I was leaning right over the sink. And so I got this huge splash of nasty peroxide water in my face.  And that was the day that I figured out how to use the eye wash station.  

Emily: Looking at these little uh pits, we call it pitting on a bone it's uh more evidence of arthritis. This one, this little one, especially has little holes in it.  It looks like Swiss cheese. You don't want your bones to look like this.  It's like an indication of loss of density, um, and it's painful.  This is an old old bear. 

Emily: Look at this.  That's really bad. This is, um, calcified cartilage.  So there's cartilage that connects the ends of the ribs to um, the sternal bones, so you have these sternal bones and this is all supposed to be cartilage, um, but it's hardened over time and kind of turned into, um, bone.  It looks like little cheese sticks that you get at a fancy Italian restaurant.  

Emily: Ok, we have one hyoid, one axis, one atlas, twenty-five other assorted vertebrae, thirteen right ribs, fourteen left ribs, two scapula, two humeri, two ulna, two radii, one left femur, one left tibia, one left fibula, one calcaneus, and a bunch of other paw bones and assorted random things.  But we have most of a bear.  Most of a bear.  

*outro music*

Emily: It still has brains on it.