Zoology
Solitaire bears

Do Polar Bears have Friends



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Solitaire bears
Trenna Sue Hiler's image for:
"Do Polar Bears have Friends"
Caption: Solitaire bears
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Image by: David
© Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attributio http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/2132684141/

It is hard to find anyone who does not have a healthy respect and a certain curiosity about the polar bear. These huge white bears are truly a breed of their own, like no other species of bears. There is much that is not known about polar bears, as they live in regions where research is hard to conduct in harsh weather and the polar bear is always on the move.

Most species of bears are very territorial.  Polar bears are not. It may be because they travel great distances just to survive. While polar bears are very aware of their surroundings and they don’t seem to be bothered by others entering the area.

Solitary is the most used word in association with the social behaviors of the polar bear. As a species the bears spend time together when it seems necessary for survival of the species.
- Breeding polar bear pairs remain together for about one week. They mate several times during this one week period.
- Mother polar bears have social interactions with their cubs. They are attentive, groom, and touch the cubs often. There is  general assumption that some bonding takes place while nursing.
- Cubs wrestle, fight and explore with one another.
- Feeding locations are a place where polar bears tend to gather. In this setting they behave in a social manner with one another. They seem to tolerate each other well. Mother polar bears with cubs are still protective of their young.

Polar bears are lone hunters, They never hunt in a pack. However, it seems the need to further the species allows them to be willing to share the spoils of a hunt with any other polar bears in the area.

Deep hibernation is not something that polar bears experience. Only the females enter into a state of carnivore lethargy. They enter into this state in October or November and usually become active in March or April.

The normal resting heart rate of a female polar bear is 46 beats per minute. When in a state of carnivore lethargy the heart rate slows to about 27 beats per minute. The female will lose most or all of her body fat during this time. When she awakes she will need to find food quickly. If there have been cubs born over the winter months the need becomes more urgent.

Some male bears have been known to build some strong bonds. They may travel together for a few months. When they meet a bear that is familiar they tend to show friendly communications. They may inactively wrestle and chase each other with no anger or harm, much like cubs, or sub adult males.

Male polar bears will show aggression to other males during the mating season.

It would appear that polar bears display more personality traits than other bears. Scientists believe this is due to their non-territorial issues.

For an interesting look a some bears and some fun music check out this short video.

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More about this author: Trenna Sue Hiler

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/polarbears/pbbehavior.html
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/polarbears/pbbehavior.html
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.polarbearsinternational.org/galleries/music-videos/1237