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How do polar bears disguise themselves?

Updated on August 25, 2011

They cover their black nose with their white paw, don’t they?

Adorable but unfounded, unfortunately. And they’re not left-handed either. Naturalists have observed polar bears for many hundreds of hours and have never seen any evidence of discreet nose-covering or of left-handedness.

They like toothpaste, though. There are regular reports of polar bears wreaking havoc in Arctic tourist camps, knocking over tents and trampling equipment, all in order to suck on a tube of Pepsodent.

Bear Prisoners

This may be one of the reasons the town of Churchill in Manitoba has a large concrete ‘polar-bear jail’. Any bear moseying into town is apprehended and incarcerated there. Some serve sentences of several months before being released back into the community, embittered, institutionalised and jobless.

Formerly the morgue for a military base, it is officially designated Building D-20. It can hold twenty-three bears at a time. Polar bears don’t eat during the summer, so some of the inmates aren’t fed for months at a time. They’re held until spring or the autumn – their hunting seasons – so that when they’re released they go off fishing and don’t just wander back to Churchill.

The earliest-known captive polar bear belonged to Ptolemy II of Egypt (308–246 BC), and was kept in his private zoo in Alexandria (i think) . The Roman writer Calpurnius Siculus wrote of polar bears pitted against seals in a flooded amphitheatre. Viking hunters captured polar bear cubs by killing and skinning the mother, spreading her pelt on the snow, and nabbing the cubs when they came to lie on it.

Scientific names

The scientific names can be a bit misleading. Ursus arctos isn’t the polar bear, it’s the Brown Bear. Ursus means ‘bear’ in Latin and arctos means ‘bear’ in Greek. The Arctic is named after the bear, not the other way around; it was ‘the region of the bear’, where bears lived and where the great bear in the sky, the constellation Ursa Major, pointed. The polar bear is Ursus maritimus – the sea bear.

But they can be dangerous so please beware !

Bears in Stars

The constellation Ursa Major has been identified as a bear by a number of cultures including the Ainu of Japan in the east, the American Indians in the west and ourselves in the middle. Even though all polar bears are born, literally, under the constellation of the Great Bear, astrologically they are all Capricorns, born in late December or early January.

Bears and Dogs are relatives

The Brown Bear is the same species as the Grizzly, which is the term applied to Brown Bears living in inland North America. Male and female bears are known as boars and sows, despite being about as closely related to pigs as koalas are to seals. Bears’ closest relatives are actually dogs.

Corpus Delicti about relationship with dogs :)

Polar bears and dogs playing

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