What’s this? Two posts in one week? Is someone trying to stave off the bitter cold by spending more time inside blogging?! YOU BETCHA.
It’s International Polar Bear Day today. You all know by now I’m an animal lover, and polar bears have a special place in my heart because they’re so darn awesome. Want proof? Here is a baby polar bear taking its first steps in the snow.
But polar bears are more than just ridiculously adorable. Here are my Top 5 Things You Should Know About Polar Bears:
- They can swim for a long time. A really, really, really long time. The longest swim documented was NINE days long. That was 426 miles without stopping. By the time researchers caught up with her on land again, she had lost 22% of her body weight.
- Polar bears aren’t white. It’s a trick! Polar bear’s thick guard hair is actually hollow, pigment-free, and transparent. But the sun reflects in such a way that it appears white. ALSO! Underneath all that fur is blue-black skin. This helps polar bears absorb the heat. Look closely at a polar bear and you’ll notice their tongues are also blue-black.
- In the 13th century, King Henry III kept a polar bear in his royal menagerie in the Tower of London. He let it swim in the Thames (on a rope).
- Polar bears can be invisible to infrared cameras. This is because polar bear hair has the same radiative properties as snow. Couple that with the fact you can barely see them with your own eyes on a snowy landscape and you’ve got a close-to invisible superpredator.
- Polar bears are mixing it up. Scientists have now discovered hybrid-bears, resulting from polar bears mating with grizzly bears. Some people call them ‘grolar bears’, and others call them ‘pizzlies’. I think they should just be called ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, considering they are 8-10 feet tall when standing!
Happy Polar Bear Day!