Blood samples were analyzed for beta-endorphin from 43 non-torpid black bear (Ursus americanus), 8 torpid black bear, 3 non-torpid brown bear (Ursus arctos), 14 moose (Alces alces), 6 mountain goats (Oreamnus americanus) and 30 Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Beta-endorphin levels were detected in all species sampled and there were no significant differences in levels among non-torpid black bear, brown bear and sea lions. Also, no differences were detected between moose and mountain goats, but all other comparisons were significantly different (P<0.001). Torpid black bear had higher levels than all other groups. Moose and mountain goats had the lowest levels. The possibility of beta-endorphin influencing behavior and physiology of mammals is discussed.
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