6 Things You Should Know About Polar Bears
Love polar bears?
Get ready for an icy adventure, gang!
Enjoy the taste of the wild life, let’s scratch the ice below;
Polar bears are stunning creatures, with so many unique features. In this article, you will get to know about some of the amazing facts about your favorite polar bears. Increase your knowledge of polar bears and then see if you can pick a favorite part!
Polar bears have always been icons of the Arctic, and one of the most popular animals that guests want to see on their icy trips – they’re one of our favorites too. All things polar we love-and bears are much the same!
1. Two-thirds of the world’s polar bears are found in Canada
There are an estimated 20,000 – 25,000 polar bears in the world, split into 19 sub-populations over five arctic regions: Canada, Russia, Alaska, Greenland, and Norway. Of these regions, 13 of the sub-populations – about 70% of the world’s polar bears – are found in Canada.
The western Hudson Bay population of polar bears, which spend their summer and autumn in and around the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, is estimated to consist of roughly 1000 bears.
2. Polar bears aren’t white
If there is one thing that you think you know about polar bears, it’s that they are white. But really, they’re not.
Technically speaking, polar bear fur is colorless. Each strand of fur is transparent and pigment-free with a hollow core which reflects light, giving the impression of being white in certain lights.
3. It’s skin-and tongue-are black
Polar bears have black skin, which helps to keep the bear warm by absorbing heat from the sun’s rays. Also, their tongues are dark, often of blue, purple, and sometimes black.
4. They fast during the summer
The Churchill polar bear population is forced on land during the summer months as the sea ice on the Hudson Bay melts. This means that during the time the polar bears are on land (roughly late June to late November) they don’t have access to their main food source, which is the ringed seal.
While polar bears can sometimes find carrion or other things to eat on the ground during their time, they are mostly required to fast for several months till they can come back to the ice at the end of November to start hunting again. Often the bears we see in the summer are quite lethargic and spend time cooling themselves in the Hudson Bay.
5. A polar bears health determines pregnancies
Polar bear physiology is an amazing thing. One species that benefits from what is regarded as ‘delayed -implantation’ is polar bears. This means that although polar bears generally mate between April and June on the sea ice, the fertilized eggs will not actually implant until late in the autumn, and will implant only if the bear has gained sufficient weight during its hunting season.
This is particularly useful for females who haven’t had a good hunting season and thus couldn’t sustain a pregnancy physically. Once a pregnancy has started, the female does not return to the sea ice, but instead moves inland to find a maternity den. During her entire time in the den—four to eight months—the female bear doesn’t eat or drink. She guides them to the sea ice when she eventually emerges with her cubs so that she can break her long fast by hunting seals.
6. Do polar bears hunt continuously? Do they start hunting again immediately after killing and eating a seal?
Polar bears are always on the lookout for their next meal. Being opportunistic and always ready to hunt is the key to keeping a polar bear chubby and healthy throughout the year. However, contrary to what is often shown in wildlife documentaries, polar bears spend a lot of time waiting, resting, and sleeping (particularly during the lean summer months when access to seals is restricted by the lack of a good sea ice hunting platform). Besides longer periods of sleep – up to 8 hours – polar bears will also often take shorter naps, especially after a good meal.
The best part
Polar bears are marine mammals
Though polar bears spend a great deal of time on land, they are ideally suited for ocean life. Their snout, head, and body are more refined and longer than other bears, allowing them to swim more effectively. They act as paddles to help push them through the water and their hind paws behave as rudders to help them steer.
Let us know in the comments which fact amazed you? Share with your friends to increase their polar bear-knowledge!