Essay on Bear

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100 Words Essay on Bear


Bears are large mammals found across the world. They’re known for their strength, endurance, and impressive size. They belong to the family Ursidae and are classified into eight species.

Bears have a large body, strong legs, a long snout, and thick fur. Their claws are sharp and non-retractable, perfect for hunting and climbing.

Bears inhabit a variety of environments, from the icy Arctic, home to the polar bear, to the dense forests where brown and black bears live.

While some bears like the polar bear are carnivores, others are omnivores, eating plants and meat.

Bears are solitary animals, often spending time alone except during mating season. They’re also known for hibernating during winter.

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250 Words Essay on Bear

Bears, belonging to the family Ursidae, are mammals recognized for their robust bodies, long snouts, shaggy hair, and sizable claws. They are distributed across various continents and their adaptability to diverse habitats is a testament to their evolutionary success.

Classification and Species

There are eight extant species of bears. These include the well-known brown bear and polar bear, but also the lesser-known spectacled bear and sun bear. Each species is adapted to its specific environment, from the icy Arctic tundra to the tropical rainforests of South America and Asia.

Physiology and Adaptations

Bears exhibit a variety of remarkable physiological adaptations. For instance, the hibernation of brown bears, where they survive months without eating, drinking, or excreting, is a marvel of metabolic regulation. Polar bears, on the other hand, have evolved a high-fat diet and a layer of blubber to survive in the harsh Arctic conditions.

Behavior and Diet

Bears are generally omnivorous, with diets varying greatly depending on their habitat and the season. They display a range of behaviors from solitary to semi-social organizations, with mother-offspring bonding being particularly strong.

Conservation Status

Many bear species are threatened due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure their survival and the preservation of the ecosystems they inhabit.

In conclusion, bears are fascinating creatures that demonstrate the breadth of evolutionary adaptations. Their survival, however, hinges on our understanding and respect for their habitats and life cycles.

500 Words Essay on Bear

Bears, belonging to the family Ursidae, are mammals known for their impressive size, strength, and remarkable adaptability. With eight distinct species spread across the globe, they exhibit a fascinating range of behaviors, diets, and habitats. This essay explores the biology, behavior, and ecological significance of bears, as well as the threats they face.

Biology of Bears

Bears are characterized by their large bodies, long snouts, shaggy hair, and powerful limbs. Their sizes vary greatly, with the smallest, the Sun Bear, weighing as little as 30 kg, and the largest, the Polar Bear, weighing up to 700 kg. Bears are omnivores, consuming a diverse diet that includes plants, berries, insects, fish, and small to large mammals. Their adaptability is reflected in their diet, which changes based on availability of food sources.

Bears have an acute sense of smell, surpassing that of dogs, which they use for communication, locating food, and detecting predators. They are generally solitary animals, with the exception of mothers and their cubs, and during salmon runs where food is plentiful.

Ecological Role of Bears

Bears play a crucial role in the ecosystem. As apex predators, they help control the population of other species, maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Bears also act as seed dispersers. Their scat often contains seeds from the various fruits and berries they consume, aiding in plant propagation.

In regions like Alaska and British Columbia, bears contribute to the nutrient cycle. They catch salmon from the rivers and carry them into the forest. The remains of these fish provide essential nutrients to the soil, supporting forest health.

Threats to Bear Populations

Despite their ecological importance, bear populations worldwide face significant threats. Habitat loss due to deforestation, urbanization, and climate change is the primary concern. Polar bears, in particular, are severely affected by the melting Arctic ice, which restricts their hunting grounds.

Human-wildlife conflict is another significant threat. As human settlements expand into bear habitats, encounters increase, often resulting in bear or human casualties. Additionally, bears are hunted for their body parts, used in traditional medicine or as trophies.

Bears are remarkable creatures that play an essential role in maintaining ecological balance. However, their survival is under threat due to human activities and climate change. Conservation efforts, including habitat preservation, reducing human-wildlife conflict, and enforcing laws against poaching, are crucial to ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures. Understanding and respecting the ecological role of bears is not just about preserving an iconic species; it is about preserving the health and diversity of our global ecosystems.

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Writing Beginner

How to Describe a Bear in Writing (100+ Examples & Words)

Writing about bears? Here’s your guide to describing them in a way that brings them to life on the page.

This is how to describe a bear in writing:

Describe a bear in writing by focusing on size (massive, towering), fur texture (shaggy, coarse), eye expression (deep, intelligent), and behavior (solitary, protective). Use vivid words like “formidable” and phrases like “a shadow in the forest . “

Keep reading to learn all my personal best tips, 100 examples, 100 words and phrases, and much more.

Types of Bears

Majestic bear in a sunlit forest clearing, evoking wilderness awe -- How to Describe a Bear in Writing

Table of Contents

Bears come in various species, each with distinct habitats, behaviors, and appearances.

The most common types include:

  • Brown Bears : Known for their impressive size and wide distribution, found from the Alaskan tundra to the forests of Europe and Asia.
  • Black Bears : Smaller and more adaptable, these bears are widespread across North America.
  • Polar Bears : The largest land carnivores, living in the Arctic, their white fur helps them blend into their snowy environment.
  • Panda Bears : With their distinctive black and white fur, pandas are a symbol of conservation and are found only in China.
  • Grizzly Bears : A subspecies of the brown bear, known for their formidable size and strength, predominantly found in North America.
  • Sloth Bears : Native to the Indian subcontinent, these bears have long, shaggy fur and a unique diet primarily consisting of termites and ants.

7 Best Ways to Describe a Bear in Writing

When writing about bears, it’s good to focus on the following 7 traits and characteristics.

Size and Build

Bears are the epitome of strength and power, a fact immediately evident in their size and build.

The sheer bulk of a bear can be awe-inspiring, with adult males of some species weighing over 1,000 pounds and standing up to 9 feet tall when on their hind legs.

Their robust frame is not just for show.

It’s a testament to their survival capabilities, from long winters to their role as apex predators.

Example Sentences:

  • I watched as the bear loomed over the clearing, its massive frame casting a shadow that swallowed the ground.
  • The bear’s muscles rippled beneath its thick fur, each step a demonstration of untamed power.
  • Even from a distance, the silhouette of the bear was imposing, its shoulders broad and heavy.
  • The bear sat on its haunches, its bulk reminiscent of a boulder—immovable and solid.
  • As the bear moved, its build spoke of ancient lineages, evolved for survival and dominance.

Fur Texture and Color

The fur of a bear is an intricate layer of their survival, offering insulation against the cold and camouflage within their natural habitat.

The texture can range from the coarse, thick fur of a grizzly, designed to repel water and trap heat, to the soft, dense coat of a panda bear, primarily for warmth in the cool mountain regions.

The color palette of bear fur is equally diverse.

You will find deep browns and blondes of the brown bear to the stark black and white contrast of the panda.

  • The sun glinted off the bear’s fur, turning it into a tapestry of golds and browns.
  • Up close, the fur was a marvel, each strand contributing to a perfect adaptation to its environment.
  • The panda bear’s fur was a stark contrast of black against white, an emblem of its uniqueness.
  • As the bear shifted, its coat shimmered, a blend of colors crafted by nature itself.
  • The texture of the bear’s fur was rugged, a testament to its life amidst the forests and mountains.

The eyes of a bear hold a depth of intelligence and emotion, often surprising to those who observe them closely.

They can express a range of feelings from curiosity to aggression, serving as windows to their wild souls.

The color of their eyes varies, but there’s always a penetrating quality, a sense of understanding and primal awareness that connects directly with the observer.

  • The bear’s gaze met mine, a moment where the wild met the human.
  • In the depths of its eyes, I saw a reflection of the forest itself—mysterious and untamed.
  • The intelligence in the bear’s eyes was unmistakable, a sentient being assessing its world.
  • There was a momentary glint in the bear’s eyes, a spark of curiosity in the vast wilderness.
  • As the bear looked towards the horizon, its eyes seemed to hold stories of ancient woods and silent snowfalls.

Mouth and Teeth

The mouth and teeth of a bear are not just tools for survival but are also expressive components of their behavior.

Bears use their mouths to communicate through various expressions, from yawning as a sign of stress to baring their teeth in aggression or warning.

The sight of a bear’s jaws, capable of breaking bones, is a stark reminder of their place in the natural hierarchy.

  • The bear’s mouth opened in a wide yawn, revealing an array of sharp teeth, a silent testament to its predatory status.
  • With a low growl, the bear bared its teeth, a clear signal that we were too close.
  • Watching the bear eat, its powerful jaws working methodically, was a lesson in the raw efficiency of nature.
  • The cub’s mouth was almost comical as it tried to imitate the expressions of its mother.
  • Even in rest, the bear’s mouth hinted at latent power, the gentle huffing breaths stirring the air.

Paws and Claws

A bear’s paws are marvels of evolutionary design, combining strength, dexterity, and sensitivity.

The size of a bear’s paw can be larger than a human face, equipped with claws that can dig into the earth or rip apart wood.

Yet, these formidable tools are also capable of delicate tasks, such as manipulating food or tenderly guiding cubs.

The contrast between their potential for destruction and their gentleness adds a fascinating layer to their character.

  • The bear’s paw left an imprint in the mud, each claw mark a signature of its passage.
  • With surprising gentleness, the bear used its paw to scoop up its cub, holding it close.
  • The claws, long and curved, were tools of survival, from digging roots to defending territory.
  • I watched in awe as the bear delicately picked berries with the same paws that could easily break a tree branch.
  • The thud of the bear’s paws on the forest floor was a steady drumbeat, a rhythm of the wild.

Bear behavior is a complex tapestry of instinct, intelligence, and adaptation.

Their actions are guided by an intricate blend of natural instincts and learned behaviors.

That includes foraging for food to nurturing their young.

Bears are solitary by nature, yet they exhibit strong familial bonds, particularly between mothers and cubs.

Observing a bear in its natural behavior is to witness a creature perfectly attuned to its environment, whether it’s skillfully catching fish or preparing for hibernation.

  • The bear’s foraging was methodical, a dance of instinct and necessity as it searched for food.
  • Watching the mother bear teach her cubs to fish was a glimpse into the depth of their familial bonds.
  • The solitude of the bear was not loneliness but a natural state of independence and strength.
  • As winter approached, the bear’s behavior shifted, an instinctual preparation for the lean months ahead.
  • In the silence of the forest, the bear’s presence was a reminder of the wild’s enduring rhythm, governed by ancient instincts.

The habitat of a bear is as much a part of its identity as its physical characteristics.

Bears are found in a variety of environments, from the icy expanses of the Arctic tundra, where polar bears roam, to the dense forests inhabited by black and brown bears.

Each species has adapted to thrive in its specific surroundings, shaping their behaviors, diets, and even physical adaptations.

Describing a bear’s habitat brings context to their existence, highlighting the delicate balance between bear and environment.

  • The bear moved through the forest with ease, a shadow among the trees in its natural domain.
  • The stark white of the polar bear against the snow was a testament to the perfection of its adaptation.
  • In the dense underbrush, the bear was a part of the landscape, as much a fixture as the ancient trees.
  • The bear’s tracks led across the riverbank, a sign of its constant search for sustenance within its habitat.
  • As the seasons changed, the bear adapted, a living embodiment of the environment’s cyclical nature.

50 Best Words to Describe a Bear

When capturing the essence of a bear in writing, choosing the right words can paint a vivid picture in the reader’s mind.

Here’s a list of descriptive words that encapsulate the multifaceted nature of bears:

  • Intimidating
  • Intelligent
  • Territorial
  • Thick-furred
  • Unpredictable

50 Best Phrases to Describe a Bear in Writing

Phrases can add depth and emotion to your descriptions, making the scene come alive.

Here are 50 phrases that effectively describe bears:

  • “A shadow moving silently through the forest.”
  • “A hulking figure against the snow.”
  • “Eyes glinting with a mix of curiosity and caution.”
  • “Fur rippling with each measured step.”
  • “A solitary guardian of the wilderness.”
  • “Muscles bunched in ready strength.”
  • “Claws that tell tales of survival.”
  • “The embodiment of untamed nature.”
  • “Moving with deceptive quietness.”
  • “An imposing presence, commanding and wild.”
  • “A gentle giant, protective and strong.”
  • “With a gaze as deep as the forest.”
  • “Silhouetted against the setting sun.”
  • “The spirit of the mountain made flesh.”
  • “Roaming freely, a symbol of the wild.”
  • “An apex predator, master of its realm.”
  • “A bear’s hibernation, a silent conquest of the cold.”
  • “A mother’s tender care for her cubs.”
  • “A roar that echoes through the valley.”
  • “The bear’s path, a testament to its solitude.”
  • “Fierce in its pursuit, yet graceful.”
  • “A creature of habit, yet unpredictable.”
  • “In its eyes, the wisdom of the wild.”
  • “Paws that tread lightly but leave deep imprints.”
  • “A figure of myth, roaming the edges of reality.”
  • “Its fur, a tapestry of nature’s design.”
  • “The silent watcher, ever vigilant.”
  • “A blend of power and peace.”
  • “An ancient lineage, walking the earth.”
  • “In the bear’s presence, time stands still.”
  • “A roar that silences the forest.”
  • “The bear, a bridge between worlds.”
  • “A quiet force, both feared and revered.”
  • “A testament to nature’s resilience.”
  • “A bear’s gaze, holding untold stories.”
  • “Claws carving the history of the wild.”
  • “With every step, a statement of sovereignty.”
  • “A dance of shadows and strength.”
  • “In its solitude, a life full of tales.”
  • “The bear, an echo of ancient wilderness.”
  • “A presence that demands respect.”
  • “Amidst the snow, a figure of endurance.”
  • “The rhythm of nature, personified.”
  • “A creature forged by time and element.”
  • “A silent stroll under the moon’s gaze.”
  • “A narrative written in tracks and trails.”
  • “The essence of the wild, captured in form.”
  • “A bear’s world, vast and untamed.”
  • “In the quiet of the forest, a legend walks.”
  • “A solitary journey, marked by pawprints.”

3 Full Examples of How to Describe a Bear in Writing

Let’s look at examples of how to describe a bear in writing in different kinds of stories.

Adventure Genre

The bear stood as a sentry at the forest’s edge, its massive silhouette outlined against the fading light of dusk.

Its fur, a rich tapestry of browns and blacks, shimmered as the last rays of sun danced across its back. Muscles rippled beneath the shaggy coat with each breath, a testament to its power and wild essence. Its deep-set eyes scanned the clearing, a mix of intelligence and primal caution reflecting in their gaze.

Here was the forest’s undisputed ruler, a creature both majestic and formidable, a guardian of the wilds that called to the heart of every adventurer.

Fantasy Genre

In the enchanted woods, where magic whispered through the leaves, a bear of myth roamed.

Its fur was a cloak of shadows, shimmering with an ethereal glow that lit the path under the moonlit sky. This was no ordinary beast but a guardian of ancient secrets, its eyes holding the wisdom of centuries. As it moved, the ground seemed to honor its passage, and the night creatures paused in reverence.

Here, in a realm where the boundary between reality and fantasy blurred, the bear was a majestic spirit, a bridge to the lost tales of the wild.

Nature Documentary Script

Amidst the rugged expanse of the Arctic tundra, a solitary figure emerges against the vast white landscape.

A polar bear, its fur as white as the snow it treads upon, moves with a grace that belies its massive size. This majestic creature, adapted to the harshest of environments, is a symbol of resilience and survival.

As it navigates the ice floes in search of food, its every action is a testament to the raw beauty of nature’s design. In the silence of the Arctic, the polar bear’s journey is a powerful narrative of life at the edge of the world, a story of endurance and the will to survive in the planet’s most unforgiving wilderness.

Here is a video that shares another example of how to describe a bear in writing:

Final Thoughts: How to Describe a Bear in Writing

There you have it – a simple guide to capturing the spirit of bears in words.

Happy writing!

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National Geographic (information on bears)

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Polar Bear, Essay Example

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Evolutionary Change of the Polar Bear

The animal I have chosen for this topic is the Arctic Polar Bear.

The polar bear is a unique species in that it is only found in the natural environment at latitudes above 66’33N.  The average temperature in the warm months is below 50’F.  The coldest recorded temperature in this region is -90’F.  Many animals inhabit this region, though the polar bear is one of the core predators.  However, the polar bear is unique in that it hunts mainly from the marine ice, hunting for seals, penguins, and other marine life.

The polar bear is a distinctive animal.  As a bear, its features that mark it as different from other bears of warmer climates include a striking white coat that does not change color year-round.  Also, the polar bear has enormous paws uniquely padded to tread the arctic landscape and swim in the oceans.  It has a dense layer of fat and a waterproof coat.  Additionally, it has a low profile head that is relatively smaller than other bear species, with an elongated neck, and very long legs.

The polar bear is the world’s largest land predator, sharing the top honors with a close cousin, the Kodiak Grizzly bear.  Interestingly, both of these species have evolved in a specific geographic location, to fill a specific ecological niche.  The Kodiak is confined to Kodiak Island of Alaska.  The polar bear is confined to the Arctic.  It is thought that the polar bears evolved from grizzly bears that traveled north, and stayed there.

The focus trait of this report on the polar bear is coat color. It is an inevitability that the greenhouse gases are warming the atmosphere.  Polar ice caps are melting, and the polar bear will lose its natural ecosystem.  Changes to the ecosystem of the Arctic, as a whole, will devastate many species, while some species will adapt.

The polar bear is primarily a land animal that hunts in the ocean.  Its coat is white, as a natural selection of the bears living in a geographic area dominated by snow and ice.  The white coat is an adaptation for this carnivore, so that the predatory needs could be met – camouflaging the bear from its prey.

When the icecaps melt, the bear will adapt.  It has the necessary attributes to once again move south to warmer climes of solid ground.  The trait that will change due to the selective pressure of climate change and loss of ecosystem, will be coat color.  The polar bear’s coat will get darker.  Other traits may also change, such as head size, feet size, fat storage, and peculiarities of its biology.  One striking peculiarity of interesting note is that the liver of a polar bear is toxic to humans.  Vitamin A toxicity will occur for a human attempting to consumer polar bear liver.  This interesting trait likely arose due to the polar bears diet and exposure to sun on the open ice.  This trait may change, and likely will, and until it does we should not eat polar bear liver.

The trait of the white coat of the polar bear will change color and grow darker in response to the selective pressure of climate change, which will destroy its natural habitat.  As the polar bear once again moves south, selective pressure will cause its coat to grow darker in order to allow it, as one of the world’s largest carnivores, to hunt effectively.

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Home — Essay Samples — Science — Panda — Life Cycle Panda Bear


Life Cycle Panda Bear

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How to Write a T‐BEAR Paragraph

Last Updated: April 23, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 46,478 times.

While a T-BEAR paragraph may sound confusing, it's actually simple. T-BEAR stands for Thesis or Topic, Brief explanation, Examples, Analyze, and Review/Reflect/Revise. This structure helps you organize your ideas in a paragraph. To write a solid T-BEAR paragraph, all you have to do is walk yourself through the steps.

Opening with a Thesis and Examples

Step 1 State your thesis.

  • For example, say you're writing a paper about your favorite book and why you like it. A good thesis could be something like, " Charlotte's Web is a book that teaches readers the meaning of friendship."

Step 2 Give a brief explanation.

  • For example, you could write something like, "The characters in Charlotte's Web always help each other out, but they don't expect anything in return."

Step 3 Cite examples that support your thesis.

  • For example, you could say something like, "At the beginning of the story, Wilbur is scared because he is going to be sent to slaughter. Charlotte helps him get out of trouble by writing words in her web, but she never asks him to do anything for her." [4] X Research source

Analyzing and Summarizing Your Examples

Step 1 Analyze your paragraph.

  • For example, "Even though Wilbur can't save Charlotte from dying, she tells him that being her friend is important. That, on its own, was all she needed from him."

Step 2 Repeat a few of your main points.

  • For example, "This shows that friends are selfless. They help one another without expecting favors."

Step 3 Close with reflection that drives your essay forward.

  • For example, you're going to talk about other friendships in Charlotte's Web . You could write something like, "Charlotte and Wilbur's friendship is a model for the human friendships in the book."

Revising Your Paragraph

Step 1 Make sure your thesis is clear and engaging.

  • Your first sentence should be an invitation. It should be alluring enough that readers are enticed to keep reading.
  • For example, the statement, " Charlotte's Web is about friendship" states your point, but it's a little dull. It could be rewritten as, "Friendship is vital to human happiness, and the value of that bond is shown in Charlotte's Web ."

Step 2 Check that the information flows logically.

  • For example, say you've written, "Charlotte and Wilbur are very good friends. Charlotte is a spider and Wilbur is a pig." The information about the types of animals the characters are feels a little out of place, and could be mentioned elsewhere.

Step 3 Make sure your closing sentences summarize your key points.

  • For example, say you end with the sentence, "That's why Charlotte's Web is about friendship." This reminds readers of your point, but does not summarize the information. Instead, write something like, "This shows how Charlotte's Web demonstrates that true friends don't keep score."

Step 4 Proofread your paragraph.

  • It can help to have a friend or family member read over the paragraph for you.
  • Changing the font can help you catch typos. You can also try reading your paragraph out loud or backwards.

Expert Q&A

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Write a Paragraph

  • ↑ https://sites.google.com/a/brookfieldps.org/plourde_a/english-i/t-bear-format
  • ↑ https://www.summitlearning.org/docs/19579135
  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/

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Essay on Animals and Their Habitat

Essay on animals and their habitat: introduction, animal habitat paragraphs for the main body, habitat essay conclusion, reference list.

“A habitat, or biome, is the type of environment in which plants and animals live” ( Habitats 2017, para. 1). In other words, a habitat is an environmental zone where particular species of animals, plants, and other organisms can be found. There are three main groups of habitats: terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats. This paper is aimed at the comparison of two natural habitats, desert and rainforest, and two species of animals that live there.

Deserts are terrestrial habitats. There are deserts all across the globe. Howard (2014, p. 6) emphasizes that “deserts cover about one-fifth of the Earth’s surface.” The area that receives less than 250 mm of rainfall a year can be named desert ( Desert 2017, para. 1). Contrary to popular belief, not all deserts are hot, dry, and sandy. Some deserts are cold. The brightest example of cold deserts is Antarctica that is covered by ice. Also, the surface area of most deserts contains rock and stones. The world’s largest hot desert is the Sahara. Cook and Vizy (2015) illustrate that the area of this desert is 9,200,000 square kilometers.

Rainforests are terrestrial habitats too. It is characterized by a warm and wet climate. Hollar (2011, p. 44) describes rainforest as “a term for a forest of broad-leaved evergreen trees that receives high annual rainfall and is characteristically associated with tropical and subtropical regions of the world.” Rainforests receive from 1,5 to 2,4 meters of rain annually. Rainforests are often named jungles. Rainforests cover about six percent of the Earth’s surface ( Rainforest 2017). There are two types of rainforests: tropical and temperate rainforests. The biggest tropical rainforest is the Amazon rainforest in South Africa.

There are some obvious differences between deserts and rainforests. However, the major difference is climate. Rainforests are warm and wet. Whereas, the majority of deserts are hot and dry and receive a small amount of rainfall annually. Despite the harsh climate, deserts do not lack life. To survive in the desert, animals and plants have to adapt to their conditions. For instance, plants that inhabit deserts do not require a great amount of water to live. When it rains, plants absorb as much water as possible very fast because water evaporates quickly in deserts, and it never goes deep into the soil. That is why a lot of desert plants have shallow roots. However, plants are scarce in deserts due to the lack of water, and the diversity of desert flora cannot be compared with a wide range of plants growing in rainforests. Rainforests contain more than half of all world’s biotic species. Some scientists assure that there are a lot of species of plants and invertebrates that are still undiscovered in tropical rainforests. Rainforests provide ideal conditions for plants, while deserts have a low ability to support plant life.

The same holds for fauna. The warm climate and constant rainfalls contribute to the diversity of animals in rainforests. As previously explained, tropical and temperate rainforests are home to more than half of all world’s biotic species. On the contrary, deserts are not considered to be the most suitable environment for animal life. There are not enough sources of water and food in deserts. What is more, hot daytime temperatures affect animals? Many desert animals are nocturnal, and they are very efficient at conserving water.

A lot of people associate deserts with camels. These animals are called ‘ships of deserts’. A distinctive feature of these mammals is a humped back. The camel has some ways to adapt to the desert. Firstly, it has humps that consist of stored fat. This fat is metabolized when the camel is short of food and water. Moreover, the camel has some features to protect itself from sand such as long lashes and a third eyelid that protect eyes. Also, the camel closes its nostrils during dust storms.

The brightest example of rainforest animals is the jaguar. The jaguar is a big cat that is perfectly adapted to rainforests. The jaguar’s spotted orange-brown fur is a sort of camouflage in rainforests. It helps to catch prey. Apart from this, the jaguar has excellent swimming abilities that are necessary because there is a lot of water in rainforests. However, the most important jaguar’s feature is a good night vision. It helps jaguars to hunt at nighttime.

To sum up, deserts and rainforests are kinds of terrestrial habitats. However, these two habitats are very different in terms of their abilities to support animal and plant life. While rainforests provide ideal conditions for plant and animal life, the climate of deserts is extremely harsh. Nevertheless, animals and plants tend to adapt to their conditions. The camel is a representative of desert animals, and the jaguar is a typical rainforest animal. Both of them have their ways to adapt to their environments.

Cook, K & Vizy, E 2015, ‘Detection and analysis of an amplified warming of the Sahara Desert’, Journal of Climate , vol. 28, no. 16, pp. 6560-6580.

Desert . 2017. Web.

Habitats . 2017. Web.

Hollar, S 2012, Investigating Earth’s desert, grassland, and rainforest biomes (introduction to Earth science) , Britannica Educational Publishing, New York.

Howard, F 2012, Deserts , ABDO Publishing Company, Edina.

Rainforest. 2017. Web.

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AI may be to blame for our failure to make contact with alien civilisations

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Sir Bernard Lovell chair of Astrophysics and Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has progressed at an astounding pace over the last few years. Some scientists are now looking towards the development of artificial superintelligence (ASI) — a form of AI that would not only surpass human intelligence but would not be bound by the learning speeds of humans.

But what if this milestone isn’t just a remarkable achievement? What if it also represents a formidable bottleneck in the development of all civilisations, one so challenging that it thwarts their long-term survival?

This idea is at the heart of a research paper I recently published in Acta Astronautica. Could AI be the universe’s “great filter” – a threshold so hard to overcome that it prevents most life from evolving into space-faring civilisations?

This is a concept that might explain why the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Seti) has yet to detect the signatures of advanced technical civilisations elsewhere in the galaxy.

The great filter hypothesis is ultimately a proposed solution to the Fermi Paradox . This questions why, in a universe vast and ancient enough to host billions of potentially habitable planets, we have not detected any signs of alien civilisations. The hypothesis suggests there are insurmountable hurdles in the evolutionary timeline of civilisations that prevent them from developing into space-faring entities.

I believe the emergence of ASI could be such a filter. AI’s rapid advancement, potentially leading to ASI, may intersect with a critical phase in a civilisation’s development – the transition from a single-planet species to a multiplanetary one.

This is where many civilisations could falter, with AI making much more rapid progress than our ability either to control it or sustainably explore and populate our Solar System.

The challenge with AI, and specifically ASI, lies in its autonomous, self-amplifying and improving nature. It possesses the potential to enhance its own capabilities at a speed that outpaces our own evolutionary timelines without AI.

The potential for something to go badly wrong is enormous, leading to the downfall of both biological and AI civilisations before they ever get the chance to become multiplanetary. For example, if nations increasingly rely on and cede power to autonomous AI systems that compete against each other, military capabilities could be used to kill and destroy on an unprecedented scale. This could potentially lead to the destruction of our entire civilisation, including the AI systems themselves.

In this scenario, I estimate the typical longevity of a technological civilisation might be less than 100 years. That’s roughly the time between being able to receive and broadcast signals between the stars (1960), and the estimated emergence of ASI (2040) on Earth. This is alarmingly short when set against the cosmic timescale of billions of years.

Image of the star-studded cluster NGC 6440.

This estimate, when plugged into optimistic versions of the Drake equation – which attempts to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilisations in the Milky Way – suggests that, at any given time, there are only a handful of intelligent civilisations out there. Moreover, like us, their relatively modest technological activities could make them quite challenging to detect.

Wake-up call

This research is not simply a cautionary tale of potential doom. It serves as a wake-up call for humanity to establish robust regulatory frameworks to guide the development of AI, including military systems.

This is not just about preventing the malevolent use of AI on Earth; it’s also about ensuring the evolution of AI aligns with the long-term survival of our species. It suggests we need to put more resources into becoming a multiplanetary society as soon as possible – a goal that has lain dormant since the heady days of the Apollo project , but has lately been reignited by advances made by private companies.

As the historian Yuval Noah Harari noted , nothing in history has prepared us for the impact of introducing non-conscious, super-intelligent entities to our planet. Recently, the implications of autonomous AI decision-making have led to calls from prominent leaders in the field for a moratorium on the development of AI, until a responsible form of control and regulation can be introduced.

But even if every country agreed to abide by strict rules and regulation , rogue organisations will be difficult to rein in.

The integration of autonomous AI in military defence systems has to be an area of particular concern. There is already evidence that humans will voluntarily relinquish significant power to increasingly capable systems, because they can carry out useful tasks much more rapidly and effectively without human intervention. Governments are therefore reluctant to regulate in this area given the strategic advantages AI offers , as has been recently and devastatingly demonstrated in Gaza .

This means we already edge dangerously close to a precipice where autonomous weapons operate beyond ethical boundaries and sidestep international law. In such a world, surrendering power to AI systems in order to gain a tactical advantage could inadvertently set off a chain of rapidly escalating, highly destructive events. In the blink of an eye, the collective intelligence of our planet could be obliterated.

Humanity is at a crucial point in its technological trajectory. Our actions now could determine whether we become an enduring interstellar civilisation, or succumb to the challenges posed by our own creations.

Using Seti as a lens through which we can examine our future development adds a new dimension to the discussion on the future of AI. It is up to all of us to ensure that when we reach for the stars, we do so not as a cautionary tale for other civilisations, but as a beacon of hope – a species that learned to thrive alongside AI.

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WriteMyPapers.org Expands Its Essay Writing Services Worldwide

Published 2:53 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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Research demonstrates that the need for essay writing services is growing worldwide. According to recent reports, the global market for essay writing services was valued at USD 2.5 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 4.5 billion by 2030. These findings highlight the increasing demand for essay assistance services worldwide.

To address the essay writing challenges that students face, this established essay writing service provides customized papers from its team of professional essay writers. They offer academic writing and editing services to help students earn good grades. They deliver high-quality essays that meet academic standards thanks to their expertise and attention to detail.

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One of the most distinguishing features is the careful customization of essays to meet the requirements of academic institutions worldwide. The company gives students the support they need to succeed academically.

“We emphasize our transparency by offering customers free access to sample essays and direct lines of communication with our writers,” states the representative. “This approach guarantees understanding and builds trust between our service and our customers.”

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WriteMyPapers was launched to offer top academic writing assistance, and it has since gained a reputation for reliability and high standards. With a focus on delivering top-quality work and exceptional customer service, the essay writing company continues to expand its offerings and reach to help students worldwide. 

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When Prison and Mental Illness Amount to a Death Sentence

The downward spiral of one inmate, Markus Johnson, shows the larger failures of the nation’s prisons to care for the mentally ill.

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By Glenn Thrush

Photographs by Carlos Javier Ortiz

Glenn Thrush spent more than a year reporting this article, interviewing close to 50 people and reviewing court-obtained body-camera footage and more than 1,500 pages of documents.

  • Published May 5, 2024 Updated May 7, 2024

Markus Johnson slumped naked against the wall of his cell, skin flecked with pepper spray, his face a mask of puzzlement, exhaustion and resignation. Four men in black tactical gear pinned him, his face to the concrete, to cuff his hands behind his back.

He did not resist. He couldn’t. He was so gravely dehydrated he would be dead by their next shift change.

Listen to this article with reporter commentary

“I didn’t do anything,” Mr. Johnson moaned as they pressed a shield between his shoulders.

It was 1:19 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2019, in the Danville Correctional Center, a medium-security prison a few hours south of Chicago. Mr. Johnson, 21 and serving a short sentence for gun possession, was in the throes of a mental collapse that had gone largely untreated, but hardly unwatched.

He had entered in good health, with hopes of using the time to gain work skills. But for the previous three weeks, Mr. Johnson, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, had refused to eat or take his medication. Most dangerous of all, he had stealthily stopped drinking water, hastening the physical collapse that often accompanies full-scale mental crises.

Mr. Johnson’s horrific downward spiral, which has not been previously reported, represents the larger failures of the nation’s prisons to care for the mentally ill. Many seriously ill people receive no treatment . For those who do, the outcome is often determined by the vigilance and commitment of individual supervisors and frontline staff, which vary greatly from system to system, prison to prison, and even shift to shift.

The country’s jails and prisons have become its largest provider of inpatient mental health treatment, with 10 times as many seriously mentally ill people now held behind bars as in hospitals. Estimating the population of incarcerated people with major psychological problems is difficult, but the number is likely 200,000 to 300,000, experts say.

Many of these institutions remain ill-equipped to handle such a task, and the burden often falls on prison staff and health care personnel who struggle with the dual roles of jailer and caregiver in a high-stress, dangerous, often dehumanizing environment.

In 2021, Joshua McLemore , a 29-year-old with schizophrenia held for weeks in an isolation cell in Jackson County, Ind., died of organ failure resulting from a “refusal to eat or drink,” according to an autopsy. In April, New York City agreed to pay $28 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of Nicholas Feliciano, a young man with a history of mental illness who suffered severe brain damage after attempting to hang himself on Rikers Island — as correctional officers stood by.

Mr. Johnson’s mother has filed a wrongful-death suit against the state and Wexford Health Sources, a for-profit health care contractor in Illinois prisons. The New York Times reviewed more than 1,500 pages of reports, along with depositions taken from those involved. Together, they reveal a cascade of missteps, missed opportunities, potential breaches of protocol and, at times, lapses in common sense.

A woman wearing a jeans jacket sitting at a table showing photos of a young boy on her cellphone.

Prison officials and Wexford staff took few steps to intervene even after it became clear that Mr. Johnson, who had been hospitalized repeatedly for similar episodes and recovered, had refused to take medication. Most notably, they did not transfer him to a state prison facility that provides more intensive mental health treatment than is available at regular prisons, records show.

The quality of medical care was also questionable, said Mr. Johnson’s lawyers, Sarah Grady and Howard Kaplan, a married legal team in Chicago. Mr. Johnson lost 50 to 60 pounds during three weeks in solitary confinement, but officials did not initiate interventions like intravenous feedings or transfer him to a non-prison hospital.

And they did not take the most basic step — dialing 911 — until it was too late.

There have been many attempts to improve the quality of mental health treatment in jails and prisons by putting care on par with punishment — including a major effort in Chicago . But improvements have proved difficult to enact and harder to sustain, hampered by funding and staffing shortages.

Lawyers representing the state corrections department, Wexford and staff members who worked at Danville declined to comment on Mr. Johnson’s death, citing the unresolved litigation. In their interviews with state police investigators, and in depositions, employees defended their professionalism and adherence to procedure, while citing problems with high staff turnover, difficult work conditions, limited resources and shortcomings of co-workers.

But some expressed a sense of resignation about the fate of Mr. Johnson and others like him.

Prisoners have “much better chances in a hospital, but that’s not their situation,” said a senior member of Wexford’s health care team in a deposition.

“I didn’t put them in prison,” he added. “They are in there for a reason.”

Markus Mison Johnson was born on March 1, 1998, to a mother who believed she was not capable of caring for him.

Days after his birth, he was taken in by Lisa Barker Johnson, a foster mother in her 30s who lived in Zion, Ill., a working-class city halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Markus eventually became one of four children she adopted from different families.

The Johnson house is a lively split level, with nieces, nephews, grandchildren and neighbors’ children, family keepsakes, video screens and juice boxes. Ms. Johnson sits at its center on a kitchen chair, chin resting on her hand as children wander over to share their thoughts, or to tug on her T-shirt to ask her to be their bathroom buddy.

From the start, her bond with Markus was particularly powerful, in part because the two looked so much alike, with distinctive dimpled smiles. Many neighbors assumed he was her biological son. The middle name she chose for him was intended to convey that message.

“Mison is short for ‘my son,’” she said standing over his modest footstone grave last summer.

He was happy at home. School was different. His grades were good, but he was intensely shy and was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in elementary school.

That was around the time the bullying began. His sisters were fierce defenders, but they could only do so much. He did the best he could, developing a quick, taunting tongue.

These experiences filled him with a powerful yearning to fit in.

It was not to be.

When he was around 15, he called 911 in a panic, telling the dispatcher he saw two men standing near the small park next to his house threatening to abduct children playing there. The officers who responded found nothing out of the ordinary, and rang the Johnsons’ doorbell.

He later told his mother he had heard a voice telling him to “protect the kids.”

He was hospitalized for the first time at 16, and given medications that stabilized him for stretches of time. But the crises would strike every six months or so, often triggered by his decision to stop taking his medication.

His family became adept at reading signs he was “getting sick.” He would put on his tan Timberlands and a heavy winter coat, no matter the season, and perch on the edge of his bed as if bracing for battle. Sometimes, he would cook his own food, paranoid that someone might poison him.

He graduated six months early, on the dean’s list, but was rudderless, and hanging out with younger boys, often paying their way.

His mother pointed out the perils of buying friendship.

“I don’t care,” he said. “At least I’ll be popular for a minute.”

Zion’s inviting green grid of Bible-named streets belies the reality that it is a rough, unforgiving place to grow up. Family members say Markus wanted desperately to prove he was tough, and emulated his younger, reckless group of friends.

Like many of them, he obtained a pistol. He used it to hold up a convenience store clerk for $425 in January 2017, according to police records. He cut a plea deal for two years of probation, and never explained to his family what had made him do it.

But he kept getting into violent confrontations. In late July 2018, he was arrested in a neighbor’s garage with a handgun he later admitted was his. He was still on probation for the robbery, and his public defender negotiated a plea deal that would send him to state prison until January 2020.

An inpatient mental health system

Around 40 percent of the about 1.8 million people in local, state and federal jails and prison suffer from at least one mental illness, and many of these people have concurrent issues with substance abuse, according to recent Justice Department estimates.

Psychological problems, often exacerbated by drug use, often lead to significant medical problems resulting from a lack of hygiene or access to good health care.

“When you suffer depression in the outside world, it’s hard to concentrate, you have reduced energy, your sleep is disrupted, you have a very gloomy outlook, so you stop taking care of yourself,” said Robert L. Trestman , a Virginia Tech medical school professor who has worked on state prison mental health reforms.

The paradox is that prison is often the only place where sick people have access to even minimal care.

But the harsh work environment, remote location of many prisons, and low pay have led to severe shortages of corrections staff and the unwillingness of doctors, nurses and counselors to work with the incarcerated mentally ill.

In the early 2000s, prisoners’ rights lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit against Illinois claiming “deliberate indifference” to the plight of about 5,000 mentally ill prisoners locked in segregated units and denied treatment and medication.

In 2014, the parties reached a settlement that included minimum staffing mandates, revamped screening protocols, restrictions on the use of solitary confinement and the allocation of about $100 million to double capacity in the system’s specialized mental health units.

Yet within six months of the deal, Pablo Stewart, an independent monitor chosen to oversee its enforcement, declared the system to be in a state of emergency.

Over the years, some significant improvements have been made. But Dr. Stewart’s final report , drafted in 2022, gave the system failing marks for its medication and staffing policies and reliance on solitary confinement “crisis watch” cells.

Ms. Grady, one of Mr. Johnson’s lawyers, cited an additional problem: a lack of coordination between corrections staff and Wexford’s professionals, beyond dutifully filling out dozens of mandated status reports.

“Markus Johnson was basically documented to death,” she said.

‘I’m just trying to keep my head up’

Mr. Johnson was not exactly looking forward to prison. But he saw it as an opportunity to learn a trade so he could start a family when he got out.

On Dec. 18, 2018, he arrived at a processing center in Joliet, where he sat for an intake interview. He was coherent and cooperative, well-groomed and maintained eye contact. He was taking his medication, not suicidal and had a hearty appetite. He was listed as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 256 pounds.

Mr. Johnson described his mood as “go with the flow.”

A few days later, after arriving in Danville, he offered a less settled assessment during a telehealth visit with a Wexford psychiatrist, Dr. Nitin Thapar. Mr. Johnson admitted to being plagued by feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and “constant uncontrollable worrying” that affected his sleep.

He told Dr. Thapar he had heard voices in the past — but not now — telling him he was a failure, and warning that people were out to get him.

At the time he was incarcerated, the basic options for mentally ill people in Illinois prisons included placement in the general population or transfer to a special residential treatment program at the Dixon Correctional Center, west of Chicago. Mr. Johnson seemed out of immediate danger, so he was assigned to a standard two-man cell in the prison’s general population, with regular mental health counseling and medication.

Things started off well enough. “I’m just trying to keep my head up,” he wrote to his mother. “Every day I learn to be stronger & stronger.”

But his daily phone calls back home hinted at friction with other inmates. And there was not much for him to do after being turned down for a janitorial training program.

Then, in the spring of 2019, his grandmother died, sending him into a deep hole.

Dr. Thapar prescribed a new drug used to treat major depressive disorders. Its most common side effect is weight gain. Mr. Johnson stopped taking it.

On July 4, he told Dr. Thapar matter-of-factly during a telehealth check-in that he was no longer taking any of his medications. “I’ve been feeling normal, I guess,” he said. “I feel like I don’t need the medication anymore.”

Dr. Thapar said he thought that was a mistake, but accepted the decision and removed Mr. Johnson from his regular mental health caseload — instructing him to “reach out” if he needed help, records show.

The pace of calls back home slackened. Mr. Johnson spent more time in bed, and became more surly. At a group-therapy session, he sat stone silent, after showing up late.

By early August, he was telling guards he had stopped eating.

At some point, no one knows when, he had intermittently stopped drinking fluids.

‘I’m having a breakdown’

Then came the crash.

On Aug. 12, Mr. Johnson got into a fight with his older cellmate.

He was taken to a one-man disciplinary cell. A few hours later, Wexford’s on-site mental health counselor, Melanie Easton, was shocked by his disoriented condition. Mr. Johnson stared blankly, then burst into tears when asked if he had “suffered a loss in the previous six months.”

He was so unresponsive to her questions she could not finish the evaluation.

Ms. Easton ordered that he be moved to a 9-foot by 8-foot crisis cell — solitary confinement with enhanced monitoring. At this moment, a supervisor could have ticked the box for “residential treatment” on a form to transfer him to Dixon. That did not happen, according to records and depositions.

Around this time, he asked to be placed back on his medication but nothing seems to have come of it, records show.

By mid-August, he said he was visualizing “people that were not there,” according to case notes. At first, he was acting more aggressively, once flicking water at a guard through a hole in his cell door. But his energy ebbed, and he gradually migrated downward — from standing to bunk to floor.

“I’m having a breakdown,” he confided to a Wexford employee.

At the time, inmates in Illinois were required to declare an official hunger strike before prison officials would initiate protocols, including blood testing or forced feedings. But when a guard asked Mr. Johnson why he would not eat, he said he was “fasting,” as opposed to starving himself, and no action seems to have been taken.

‘Tell me this is OK!’

Lt. Matthew Morrison, one of the few people at Danville to take a personal interest in Mr. Johnson, reported seeing a white rind around his mouth in early September. He told other staff members the cell gave off “a death smell,” according to a deposition.

On Sept. 5, they moved Mr. Johnson to one of six cells adjacent to the prison’s small, bare-bones infirmary. Prison officials finally placed him on the official hunger strike protocol without his consent.

Mr. Morrison, in his deposition, said he was troubled by the inaction of the Wexford staff, and the lack of urgency exhibited by the medical director, Dr. Justin Young.

On Sept. 5, Mr. Morrison approached Dr. Young to express his concerns, and the doctor agreed to order blood and urine tests. But Dr. Young lived in Chicago, and was on site at the prison about four times a week, according to Mr. Kaplan. Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, was not one of those days.

Mr. Morrison arrived at work that morning, expecting to find Mr. Johnson’s testing underway. A Wexford nurse told him Dr. Young believed the tests could wait.

Mr. Morrison, stunned, asked her to call Dr. Young.

“He’s good till Monday,” Dr. Young responded, according to Mr. Morrison.

“Come on, come on, look at this guy! You tell me this is OK!” the officer responded.

Eventually, Justin Duprey, a licensed nurse practitioner and the most senior Wexford employee on duty that day, authorized the test himself.

Mr. Morrison, thinking he had averted a disaster, entered the cell and implored Mr. Johnson into taking the tests. He refused.

So prison officials obtained approval to remove him forcibly from his cell.

‘Oh, my God’

What happened next is documented in video taken from cameras held by officers on the extraction team and obtained by The Times through a court order.

Mr. Johnson is scarcely recognizable as the neatly groomed 21-year-old captured in a cellphone picture a few months earlier. His skin is ashen, eyes fixed on the middle distance. He might be 40. Or 60.

At first, he places his hands forward through the hole in his cell door to be cuffed. This is against procedure, the officers shout. His hands must be in back.

He will not, or cannot, comply. He wanders to the rear of his cell and falls hard. Two blasts of pepper spray barely elicit a reaction. The leader of the tactical team later said he found it unusual and unnerving.

The next video is in the medical unit. A shield is pressed to his chest. He is in agony, begging for them to stop, as two nurses attempt to insert a catheter.

Then they move him, half-conscious and limp, onto a wheelchair for the blood draw.

For the next 20 minutes, the Wexford nurse performing the procedure, Angelica Wachtor, jabs hands and arms to find a vessel that will hold shape. She winces with each puncture, tries to comfort him, and grows increasingly rattled.

“Oh, my God,” she mutters, and asks why help is not on the way.

She did not request assistance or discuss calling 911, records indicate.

“Can you please stop — it’s burning real bad,” Mr. Johnson said.

Soon after, a member of the tactical team reminds Ms. Wachtor to take Mr. Johnson’s vitals before taking him back to his cell. She would later tell Dr. Young she had been unable to able to obtain his blood pressure.

“You good?” one of the team members asks as they are preparing to leave.

“Yeah, I’ll have to be,” she replies in the recording.

Officers lifted him back onto his bunk, leaving him unconscious and naked except for a covering draped over his groin. His expressionless face is visible through the window on the cell door as it closes.

‘Cardiac arrest.’

Mr. Duprey, the nurse practitioner, had been sitting inside his office after corrections staff ordered him to shelter for his own protection, he said. When he emerged, he found Ms. Wachtor sobbing, and after a delay, he was let into the cell. Finding no pulse, Mr. Duprey asked a prison employee to call 911 so Mr. Johnson could be taken to a local emergency room.

The Wexford staff initiated CPR. It did not work.

At 3:38 p.m., the paramedics declared Markus Mison Johnson dead.

Afterward, a senior official at Danville called the Johnson family to say he had died of “cardiac arrest.”

Lisa Johnson pressed for more information, but none was initially forthcoming. She would soon receive a box hastily crammed with his possessions: uneaten snacks, notebooks, an inspirational memoir by a man who had served 20 years at Leavenworth.

Later, Shiping Bao, the coroner who examined his body, determined Mr. Johnson had died of severe dehydration. He told the state police it “was one of the driest bodies he had ever seen.”

For a long time, Ms. Johnson blamed herself. She says that her biggest mistake was assuming that the state, with all its resources, would provide a level of care comparable to what she had been able to provide her son.

She had stopped accepting foster care children while she was raising Markus and his siblings. But as the months dragged on, she decided her once-boisterous house had become oppressively still, and let local agencies know she was available again.

“It is good to have children around,” she said. “It was too quiet around here.”

Read by Glenn Thrush

Audio produced by Jack D’Isidoro .

Glenn Thrush covers the Department of Justice. He joined The Times in 2017 after working for Politico, Newsday, Bloomberg News, The New York Daily News, The Birmingham Post-Herald and City Limits. More about Glenn Thrush


to write an essay about bear

Man or bear? A viral question has spawned scary responses

A nother day, another hypothetical scenario tearing people apart on social media . However, this cultural discourse has some sharp teeth.

The question, directed towards women, seems simple: Would you rather be alone in the woods with a man or a bear?

While there’s no unanimous answer, a good number of women on TikTok, Instagram and X have made it clear they’d prefer the bear. This has sparked anger among some men online, but more than that, it has snowballed into a valuable discussion about violence against women and how danger doesn’t always take the shape of a wild animal on the prowl.

It’s not actually about the bear

In one TikTok video , viewed more than 16.7 million times, an interviewer asks eight women on the street whether they’d rather be stuck in a forest with a man or a bear. Seven out of the eight answer, with very little hesitation, the latter.

There are innumerable variants of this video, with the question asked among groups of friends, to family members and partners and strangers on the street. When asked why they would pick the bear, women all give some iteration of the same answer: With a bear, they know what the dangers are. They know, at least in theory, how to survive the encounter.

The comments on the previously mentioned video make that painfully clear:

“You know what to expect from a bear.”

“Absolutely a bear humans are capable of so so much worse.”

“Bear, because If I got attacked by a bear people would believe me.”

It’s impossible to conduct a statistical analysis on whether one particular man would be more dangerous than one particular bear, especially since we all spend a lot more of our daily existence in proximity to men than wild ursines. The point of this clearly hypothetical exercise has nothing to do with survival skills or being able to tell a black bear from a brown one.

“The fact that women would even consider hypothetical man/bear questions means we have utterly failed to create a safe society,” one user wrote on X .

According to data from the United Nations, almost 89,000 women and girls were intentionally killed worldwide in 2022. UN data also shows that one in three women across the world have experienced intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence, categories that include domestic violence and rape.

That doesn’t include sexual harassment or other situations that can put a woman in fear of her life. The UN’s data claims a sizable majority of women parliamentarians and journalists have experienced psychological violence in the public sphere — a specific statistic, but one that shows how deep into a woman’s existence the threat of violence can go.

A lot of critics are missing the point

People rankled by the number of women choosing to take their chances with a bear have called the question “ misandrist ” and said it’s an excuse to freely hate on men. Others, missing the point entirely, have taken the opportunity to mock and belittle women in response.

One X post shows a cartoon of a woman telling a bear she’s glad to be stuck with it “instead of a man teehee.” In the second panel, the bear has violently mauled her.

“Help me understand the math,” a top response reads . “Women said they feel safer with a bear than a man. So in response you as a man decided to create imagery of them being violently dissected to prove that you’re not violent and are safe to be around?”

This kind of unintentional proof-of-theory has frustrated women who feel like some men genuinely don’t understand, or care to understand , what it feels like to never feel entirely safe around other people.

A post on Instagram Threads, shared thousands of times, further illustrates this gap.

“A woman should definitely pick the bear,” the post reads. “The bear would eat her. It’s not going to help her one bit. A man she can bond with to a point where he will work with her to survive in the woods. If she used her feminine traits. He would hunt, building and protect.”

It goes on, but that penultimate line, “if she used her feminine traits,” spawned waves of comments from people shocked at the irony.

A lot of detractors also seem to be misunderstanding the definition of a hypothetical question. LSD Law , a portal for law students, offers an especially clear explanation:

“Hypothetical means something that is not necessarily true, but is used to help explain or understand something else. It is like a pretend situation that we use to learn or think about something.”

Men are lending their voices to the discussion

As much as it feels like a battle of the sexes, the “man vs. bear” question is far from split along gendered lines. Many men have shared their take on the situation, and come out on the side of the bear as well.

One TikToker asked her father , a lifelong bear hunter, which he would prefer for her.

“You’d have a better chance with the bear,” he said, after a moment of thought. Then, without a hint of irony or drama, he goes on: “Because men are evil.”

Another user added a layer of nuance , pointing out that men (or people in general) can lie, make false promises, downplay their own danger and generally be predatory on a level no bear could ever be.

“The bear wouldn’t apologize after and promise to never do it again,” he said.

TikTok creator and anti-misogynist educator Call Me BK , who claims to have started the current man vs. bear debate, said he didn’t even consider the question to be hypothetical.

He points to a video posted on March 12 , where he says, “If you’re alone in the woods, seeing a man is ten times scarier than seeing a bear.”

“I never presented it as a ‘would you rather’ question because I already knew that women were picking the bear,” he said in a recent post .

Call Me BK has spent numerous videos trying to explain to men why women would pick the bear, and each subsequent attempt has drawn comments from people saying it’s ridiculous, hateful, illogical or worse.

However, some positive comments have argued that the question isn’t meant to lambaste men or pick apart the potential danger of a bear encounter. It is, in the way hypothetical questions are, a door to something bigger.

“You started an important conversation,” one commenter wrote on TikTok. “It didn’t just go into a debate. It led to some of us mothers having important talks with our older sons. This is the kinda thing that can change the future.”

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