Do Polar Bears Hibernate? Fun Facts About The Furry White Animals | Kidadl


Do Polar Bears Hibernate? Fun Facts About The Furry White Animals

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Polar bears are huge bear species that are completely white in color.

They are found in the very north, in the Arctic region. They live on ice and hunt birds, small mammals and seals.

Polar bears are very interesting animals in nature. Unlike other bears, polar bears don't really portray territorial behavior and mostly try to avoid conflict. Polar bears are solitary animals that mostly live on their own and unite during the breeding season. Polar bears breed between the months of March to June on sea ice. During this period, a lot of polar bears gather to hunt on seals and mate. Polar bears hunt and eat during summer and increase their body weight to around double the normal amount so that they can easily survive the winter. Polar bears don't hibernate like other mammals. Only pregnant females portray lethargy. In this article, we shall find out more details about these mammals!

If you like reading fun facts articles, then why not try our other articles on what makes polar bears white and polar bear skin.

Why don't polar bears hibernate?

Polar bears are the biggest carnivores on land. Like all other bears, polar bears are expert hunters and mostly hunt seals. Polar bears and other bear species may be similar looking and may have similar behavioral traits, but their lifestyles are completely different. This is maybe because of their extreme habitat and surroundings.

One lifestyle difference is that polar bears don't really hibernate like other bears. They rest and save their energy and maintain their body temperature, but that does not meet the definition of hibernation. However, pregnant females do hibernate to some extent!

Polar bears are not hibernating bears like the brown bear and the grizzly bear. Only pregnant polar bears enter dens during winter to maintain their body temperatures. Male bears and nonpregnant adult females survive the colder months without the need for hibernation. They don't need to go into hibernation for many reasons. For animals who live in a cold environment, nature supplies them with features that help them to stay warm. The two best features that can protect an animal from the cold are fur and blubber.

Wolves have a double layer of fur that keeps them warm, and whales have a thick layer of blubber for keeping warm in the water. Polar bears live in the Arctic region, and only having fur or blubber would not be enough to fight the cold there. So polar bears have both thick blubber and double-coated fur that keeps them warm and easy-going in the freezing Arctic winter. Wild polar bears invest their time in eating during the summer so that they can store enough fat to get through the winter season on energy reserves. During summers, adult male polar bears invest around 40% of their time in hunting, while female polar bears invest around 30% of their time.

Polar bears don't really meet the definition of hibernation for again many reasons. During hibernation, an animal's heart rate decreases, and its breathing rate falls. Its metabolic rate and body temperature also decrease, and the animal goes into an inactive state in a den area. In the case of polar bears, though their heart rate falls, their body temperature stays almost intact, and that's why they never achieve a state of true hibernation. Still, pregnant females who enter a den during winter stay there for multiple months and give birth to their cubs there. Pregnant polar bears enter a den and sleep from October to April.

Do polar bears migrate?

Polar bears are mammals that are found across the Arctic. They migrate to places in search of food. In the Arctic region, during the winter season, polar bears face food scarcity, and that's why in order to find prey, they go to new places. Polar bears spend a lot of time in water, searching for food. Polar bears naturally migrate in the summer season when the ice starts melting. They need to find land so that they can prey on animals like seals.

Polar bears migrate but there are different reasons behind their migration. Normally animals migrate to warmer places during the winter season to escape the cold, but in the case of polar bears, the cold doesn't bother them that much, and they can easily withstand it. Instead of migrating during winter, polar bears choose to migrate during summer. During summer, the Arctic ice starts melting, and that creates issues for polar bears who live there. Polar bears mainly hunt seals for their food, but to do so, they need solid ground. When the ice starts melting, it becomes tough for bears to hunt seals, and that's why they feel the need to migrate to find a more favorable area for hunting.

There are some other reasons behind their migration as well. During the summer season, some polar bears migrate southward in order to find a favorable spot for staying and hunting. Once they find one, they tend to settle there for some time. Other polar bears keep wandering in search of places that are rich in food. Polar bears mainly survive on their body fat during the winter season, so it is crucial for them to keep eating duringthe summer so that they can increase their fat stores. In order to find a food-rich place, migration is very important. Polar bears, like other bears, don't really hibernate during the winter; they stay out and search for prey. Female polar bears who are pregnant go into dens in order to keep themselves and their babies warm. The fat that they consume during the summer keeps their body going during winter.

During summer polar bears move towards south for hunting.

What do polar bears eat?

Polar bears are the biggest meat-eating animals on land; they mostly hunt seals who live in the Arctic. They spend most of their time eating in the summer season so that they can accumulate enough fat to survive the winter. A female polar bear invests less time in hunting compared to a male. An average male accumulates enough fat during the summer that it doesn't need hibernation to protect it from starving. Females, on the other hand, also stay out and survive on their fat unless they are pregnant. Pregnant females go into dens to keep themselves and their offspring warm.

Polar bears are the biggest bear species on land who hunt other animals. Polar bear species eat both meat and plants, and that's why they are considered to be omnivorous animals. Polar bears are mammals. Their genus is Ursus, and their scientific name is Ursus maritimus.

Now let's discuss what they eat and how much they eat. Polar bears are huge in size, so naturally, they need lots of food. In the area where polar bears live, they can find plenty of seals. In the Arctic, there are thousands and thousands of seals who become polar bears' prey. Polar bears are expert hunters and are very stealthy. Polar bears are equipped with a very powerful nose that can sense even the slightest smell. Seals come out of water in order to rest and breathe. They enter holes to rest and spend time there. Polar bears can easily smell their breathe and find out where they are. After sensing a seal, a polar bear softly approaches and waits outside a hole. If the seal doesn't come out on its own, the bear drags it out.

Polar bears are not like other bears. When polar bears hunt, the prey doesn't even realize that danger is approaching. Other than seals, polar bears also hunt birds, smaller animals and their eggs. Polar bears are scavengers too. They also eat dead animals who were hunted by other predtors. Polar bears keep eating in summer to store fat. Male polar bears are way bigger than females in size and involve themselves in hunting way more than females. Adult polar bears, when killing seals, mostly eat their skin and blubber parts. Skin and blubber supply the fat that adults need, and younger cubs attack the red meat to get protein.

One interesting fact is that polar bears are very neat and clean. When they hunt, their white fur soaks up blood and becomes dirty. After feeding, they either go into the water to clean themselves or roll around in the snow to remove any stains.

When do pregnant polar bears enter a den?

Unlike other bears, polar bears don't really go into dens to hibernate during the winter. Rather, polar bears stay outside and keep hunting and feeding on any prey that they can find. Polar bears, especially males, stay active throughout the year and keep on eating. Female polar bears also stay active and keep on hunting unless they are pregnant. Polar bear mothers have two prime duties to perform; one is keeping themselves well-fed, and another is to keep their cubs safe and healthy. Pregnant polar bears enter dens in order to keep themselves and their children warm.

Female polar bears enter a den in winter if they're pregnant. Polar bears are very intelligent creatures. They have good knowledge of how to react to their environment based on the conditions around them. Polar bears don't need to hibernate as they have got double-layered fur, and inside that, they have a blubber layer to survive the winter. Still, polar bears need to find some form of shelter during stormy winter nights. Other than that, polar bears do absolutely fine in winter.

All polar bears spend their days in summer eating and gathering calories and fat so that they can keep themselves going in winter even if they face a scarcity of food. Pregnant females who go into a den during winter don't really hibernate. Their heart rate decreases a bit, but their body temperature stays intact. They also give birth to their cubs in a den, and because their body temperature doesn't fall, they also keep their babies warm. Female bears den from October to April and sleep for a very long time.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked reading all about whether polar bears hibernate, then why not take a look at our articles about polar bear fur and polar bear adaptations?

<p>Skilled content writer Chandrayan has a passion for producing compelling and engaging content. With an excellent command of the English language and a talent for research and proofreading, Chandrayan has honed his skills through years of experience in the industry. Chandrayan is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Tripura University, demonstrating his dedication to the craft of writing.&nbsp;</p>

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