Polar Bears are one of those mystical animals that leave most of us in awe! They reside mainly within the Arctic Circle which is one of many reasons they are so mysterious to us! Living so far away (from most of us!) and not known for being friendly to humans (for obvious reason!) mean that these creatures don’t find themselves being very well understood.. and there is still so much to learn! These 6 facts are so interesting and differentiate them from many other mammals and even other bears. Let’s jump in and see what there is to learn about these incredible creatures!
1. Did you know that a Polar Bear has black skin??
Whilst their fur can lead us to believe their skin is a lighter colour, it is in fact BLACK! In addition to that, did you know that their fur is in fact transparent in ‘colour’? Well, it is! Their black skin allows them to absorb the sun rays and keep them warm. Their transparent fur has a hollow core to reflect the visible light and helps them blend in with their surroundings. To humans and most other animals, the Polar Bears seem to blend in with their ice and snow surroundings, but to reindeer, who have the ability to see ultraviolet light, they stand out!
2. Do you know what animal category Polar Bear’s fall under??
Surprisingly, Polar Bears are considered Marine Mammals! As they spend most of their life on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, depending on that ocean for their food and their habitat, they are more water-dwelling than land-dwelling. They are also the only bear species to be considered marine mammals. So unique!
3. Why do Polar Bears only hunt on sea ice??
As seals are their only real food source, they need to spend their time on the ice, to try to catch one! Seals are the only food source that have a high enough fat content and enough calories to keep a polar bear healthy. They only hunt on a sea ice platform, as that’s the only chance a Polar Bear has to actually catch a seal for dinner! They generally try to wait at the breathing holes that are created in the ice, and snatch one as it comes to the surface. Ringed seals and bearded seals are their main food source.
4. How fast can Polar Bears go??
Whilst they look big and fluffy and we often see them wandering around on the ice, not looking particularly speedy, if the need arises they can reach speeds of up to 40km/h on land and up to 10km/h in the water! Now that is impressive!
5. Just how good is a Polar Bears sense of smell??
Polar Bears have an excellent sense of smell! It’s their most advanced sense! They have the ability to detect seals from up to 1.5km away just by using their sense of smell,! And if they need to, they can smell seals 1m under the snow! This sense of smell makes them quite a formidable predator!
6. Are Polar Bears always so solitary??
They aren’t! They start out in a family unit! When female Polar Bears birth their cubs, they are only around 30cm long and weigh around 500g, which is roughly around the same size as a guinea pig and no doubt just as cute! Polar Bears are usually born as twins! A single cub or triplets is uncommon. The pair of cubs will remain with their mother for the first two years of their lives before going off to find their own territory.
Did you learn anything new? Share this post with someone who lovessss Polar Bears!
See these beautiful creatures on the big screen at the Ocean Film Festival World Tour. One of the films in the 2020 line up shares the story of the Polar Bear and the scientists who have dedicated their lives to protecting them. Find out more and get your tickets here!