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Home - Neuroanatomy of the Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear Brain Atlas

 Special gratitude to John and Frank Craighead

Concept: Ursus horribilis

The neuroscience that forms the basis of the central nervous system and autonomic nervous system in grizzly and black bears has been correlated with gross brain and spinal cord anatomy. Explicit attention has been directed to the special senses, particularly olfaction. We analyze the neuro-physiological function of the Grizzly Bear brain using MRIs, CT Scans, and arteriograms. In addition, we include histological staining of grizzly bear brain sections.


                Histological sections corresponding with the coronal, horizontal, and sagittal views of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) have delineated the exact status of the bear’s (1) cerebral cortex, (2) thalamus, (3) midbrain, (4) pons and medulla, (5) and cerebellum.

                The structures referred to above as well as the hypothalamus and pituitary gland control the bear’s actions. These include avoidance, aggression, learning and memory, hibernative, and reproductive behaviors.

                From a comparative morphology standpoint, the work depicted in a neuroanatomical atlas is suggestive of all current species of bear, as well as ancestral ursoidea, e.g.: Indarctos oreganenis and Agriotherium schneiden.

Research involves further analysis of histological sections as well as depiction of all arteries (MRA) involved in the bear neuroanatomy. The atlas will be valuable in veterinary schools and hospitals around the world.


A special thank you to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks research facility in Bozeman, MT, Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, The Field Museum of Chicago, and the Denver Museum of Natural History for materials from bear skulls, and the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife in Florida, as well as The British Museum, London, UK, Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, and Chris Servheen of University of Montana, which have facilitated these studies and research.