Polar Bear Communication
Polar Bear- Types of communication
It can be very hard to understand what Polar Bears are thinking because they are non verbal most of the time. Since they generally live alone, they don’t have the ongoing sounds of communication that you hear among other animals that live together. However, the Polar Bear is extremely smart and knows how to communicate when it needs to.
The most common time that you will hear Polar Bear sounds of communication though is when they are irritable. During the mating season they have more hormones present in their body. The males have to fight with each other too so they use their sounds to try to intimidate each other. Many times they are able to get a younger and less experienced male to run away instead of staying to fight.
When a Polar Bear feels threatened by its environment or humans there are a variety of sounds that will be made. They include hissing, growling, and even chopping their teeth which is often misinterpreted as the Polar Bear looking for something they can eat. When you hear such sounds from a Polar Bear it is in your best interest to try to remain calm and to get out of their way. If they feel you are no longer a threat they aren’t going to attack.
Male Polar Bears seem to communicate in gentle tones when they want the attention of a given female. This is very interesting to observe, but most of the time such mating rituals take place in private due to the isolated regions where these animals happen to reside. The females make their own sounds of communication too in order to respond to the moves of the males.
Females are also known to offer all types of communication to their offspring. These young cubs know the distinct sound of their mother’s voice. They listen for it to offer them encouragement as well as to let them know about dangers in the area. It is believed that mother Polar Bears offer their offspring plenty to help them survive in the wild on their own.
These cubs engage in various types of play and role impressions when they are young too. You can often hear them making a variety of sounds as they communicate with each other. They love to make low rumbling sounds deep in their throats as well as to hiss at each other.
There is evidence to suggest that a great deal is done through non verbal forms of communication for Polar Bears. They rely upon their senses including smell, sight, and touch to interact with each other and their environment. For example if a Polar Bear wants to approach another for food it will circle slowly around the area. Then they will meet nose to nose to determine what the next step will be.
What has been noted is that most of the time such opportunities are allowed. However, when a Polar Bear rushes up to the kill to get some of it, they will likely be met with aggression from the one that has killed it. You can easily tell which Polar Bears are the dominant ones and which are the submissive by where they stand. The submissive bears are always going to be downwind from those that are dominant.
When you observe Polar Bears for any length of time you will start to identify what these different non verbal messages mean to them and those that they are interacting with. However, there is still plenty about communications from Polar Bears that further research needs to cover before we understand it.