Polar Bears are beautiful creatures. The enormous white bears have become very popular thanks to the coca-cola commercials, where they seem very cute and cuddly. Possibly because of the portrayal of polar bears in the commercials and throughout the media, there are a few misconceptions about the ursus martimus (polar bear).
First of all, the fluffy white bears are actually not white. Their skin is black and their fur is more translucent than white. Another misconception about the bears has come from us seeing them in cartoons playing with penguins. In reality, polar bears do not even live in the same pole as the penguins, making it impossible for them to be friends. If polar bears and penguins did live together they are more likely to be snacks for the bears than buddies. Check out polarbearsinternational.org for more information on the misconceptions of polar bears.
So, what is a typical day like for a polar bear? Well, the ursus martimus tends to feast on seals. When the seals come up from the water to the ice in order to breathe, the polar bears catch their dinner. This keeps the polar bears full and also keeps the seals from over populating. Polar bears have also been known to feast on beluga whales and a walrus from time to time. A polar bear will generally spend 20 to 30 minutes eating, after which they will want to clean themselves up.
Polar bears like to stay clean. They will lick their paws and then wipe off their muzzles. They also lick their paws to remove any snow or ice that has accumulated in them. Sometimes polar bears will jump into the water to clean off. Other times, they will roll around in the snow to try and get clean.
After eating, polar bears may want to take a nap for about an hour. When it comes time for sleeping, the polar bear will usually get 7 to 8 hours of rest.
While most bears hibernate, polar bears tend to be an exception. Generally the only “hibernation” comes from the female bears when they are pregnant. During this time they go into their dens, usually in the fall, and stay that way until the cubs are born in November or December. Usually, there are two cubs per litter. During the pregnancy stage, the female bears do sleep, however they can be easily awakened, unlike a hibernating bear.
Polar bears do not generally run. They have two coats of fur that enable them to stay warm in the very cold climates that they live. Because of this a polar bear can get over heated very easily, especially by running.
According to Sea World, polar bears can live 30 to 40 years, but they generally only live 15 to 18 years. They also state that the oldest polar bear to live in the wild was 32 years old and the oldest polar bear to live in captivity lived to be 41 years old!
Polar bears are very fascinating creatures. For more information about the beautiful animal, go to www.polarbearsinternational.org or visit Sea World’s website.