Hey, Bear Buffs!
It’s National Polar Bear Day! These incredible creatures never cease to amaze. But just what is it that’s so FASCINATING about these albino bears? Well, that’s one thing right there—polar bears aren’t really albino—their fur’s actually colorless! But I’m getting ahead of myself. Just let me explain how cool polar bears are and you’ll see that there’s SO MUCH more to them than just soda advertisements.
First of all, polar bears are believed to have evolved from grizzlies around 150,000 years ago. Polar bears have since well adapted to their Arctic environment. Their white appearance gives them great camouflage. Their paws grow wider than a grizzly’s so to distribute their weight as they cross ice and snow. And they grow fur on the bottom of their paw to give better grip on ice and extra warmth.
Returning to the first point made, polar bears do not have white fur. Their fur is actually transparent, clear, see-through. It has no color at all. It only appears white because of the way that it reflects sunlight. And underneath all that fur, it turns out a polar bear’s skin is actually black. Black skin helps keep this giant mammal warm as it absorbs the sun’s heat.
Also unlike grizzly bears—or any other bear, for that matter—polar bears do not hibernate for the winter. They don’t hibernate at all unless they are pregnant in which case they go into a mild hibernation where their heart rate slows down and their body temperature is strictly regulated. Pregnant polar bear’s hibernation is easily interrupted.
Lastly, I think everybody knows that polar bears can swim, but do you realize how good they are at it? In fact, polar bears are able to swim for longer than an entire week without stopping at all!
So, as I said to begin with, polar bears are fascinating creatures, aren’t they? Happy Polar Bear Day!