Bears in western Idaho share communities with people
Not since Clan of the Cave Bear have I found something so compelling. It seems that bears and their neighboring human relatives share a culture. Research along the west coast shows bears living in an area where three distinct tribal languages are also divided along the same regional lines. Raising the question, how did it happen?
Animal culture reflects human cultural development
This may be because animals overshadow tribes and have done so for millennia. Then the bears end up with an isolated genetic fingerprint. It also lends credence to the claims of many indigenous tribes regarding the symbiotic relationship and spiritual kinship they have with animals.
As for the movie Clan of the Cave Bear, that’s mostly forgettable. It was a vehicle for a young Daryl Hannah. She was the dream girl for many teenagers in the 1980s. She passed away a few years later and is now a professional liberal activist.
Animals adapt to their environment
I’m not sure the natural world is as spiritually connected as old traditions claim, but I can see how genetic diversity among animals and humans could be equally limited in isolated patches. Coastal bears have a preference for fish while inland bears have a taste for elk. Animal culture will grow based on what is available in the food chain. Have you ever seen a Far Side cartoon where polar bears blew off the roof of an igloo? One bear tells another that he really likes what he found because it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
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