— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — There are places in Yellowstone National Park where alternating grizzly bear footsteps are worn deep into the earth, forming trails that lead to very specific sites at geothermal vents. These footsteps are almost sculpted into the ground as each bear places its foot precisely into the tracks of its predecessor, rubbing its feet sideways in each track. Arriving at the site the bears begin to eat the soil, high in potassium and sulphur. One theory is that the sulphur helps rejuvenate their digestive system after the long inactivity of hibernation, and they may be low in potassium after their winter’s fast. How do they know to go there? Does each bear...

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