Researchers in Alberta, Canada have posted a pretty funny video showing a wide range of wildlife visiting a “rub tree” in Kananaskis Country, a park system west of Calgary.
Alberta Parks researchers shared the images, which were gathered “as part of a collaborative study looking at multi-species habitat use” in the region.
The series of still images are strung together as a video with accompanying music. One section includes shots taken from more than 10 minutes of activity, and shows four grizzly bears rubbing on the tree and rolling around the area in a display that looks like an exotic dancer convention—but for bears.
Shots captured in daylight and at night show the spot was also visited by mule deer, an elk, black bears and even a pair of mountain lions.
According to notes with the video from Alberta Parks, the bears use rub trees as a way of “leaving a scent as a form of communication to other bears and animals.”
Ecologist Owen Nevin of the University of Cumbria in England conducted a study of rub trees. He told LiveScience that bears rub specific trees as they move across wide swaths of territory, leaving their scent as a message for other bears.
“Big male bears can seriously injure or even kill each other when they get into a fight,” Nevin said. “If one recognizes the other from the scent marks on the rub trees in the area, he knows he’s in for a tough fight—he’s on the other guy’s patch so to speak—so it might be better to back away than make a serious challenge.”