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Foster and Kreitzman - Seasons of Life - Polar bears and their babies

Identifier

014212

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A prooof of function - since this is all autonomic - and also provides proof of a 'spirit'/software based trigger as the embryo is in the womb and certainly cannot sense anything going on outside.  The function dependencies may be between the system of the sun/seasons, the system of the mother and the system of the baby, or it may be direct between the baby and the sun/seasons.

A description of the experience

Seasons of Life – Russell G Foster and Leon Kreitzman

Although the development time of the young in the uterus is fixed in most mammals, some use a remarkable trick to increase the apparent gestation period. 

Embryonic diapause, also known as discontinuous development, or delayed implantation, effectively uncouples the timing of mating and fertilisation from birth, by maintaining the embryo in a state of suspended development.  Embryos produced at mating develop only as far as a hollow ball of cells (the blastocyst) before developmental arrest.  This strategy is usually employed to ensure that birth and postnatal development occur under favourable environmental conditions.

Although polar bears mate between March and June, the blastocyst stops growing and lies free floating in the uterus for about 4 months.  After implantation, there is a gestation of some four months, with birth between November and January.  By the time the mother and cubs emerge from the den in late March, the weather conditions are less severe….

The photoperiodic responses that trigger the hormonal and behavioural changes involved in reproduction are extremely sensitive.  A difference of only 8-10 minutes in daylength can initiate reproduction in some species.  At the Arctic circle, this 10 minute change in daylight hours can take place over a 2 day period in late summer.

The source of the experience

Foster and Kreitzmann

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References