4 myths and facts about polar bears
Polar bears often become cartoon characters or children's books. And often they are friends with penguins and other animals. So what of what we read about polar bears, myths or facts?
In the photo: polar bear. Photo: pixabay.com
Myth 1: Polar bears are friends with penguins.
This view has nothing to do with reality. If only because penguins cannot meet polar bears in nature. After all, they live literally on different poles of the Earth: polar bears inhabit the North Pole (Arctic), and penguins - the South Pole (Antarctica).
Myth 2: Polar bears and brown bears are completely different species that have nothing in common.
Scientists have hypothesized that brown bears are the ancestors of whites, but it is not yet clear how and when their “separation” occurred. The results of one study suggest that this happened about 5,000,000 years ago, but according to another source, the species separated about 500,000 years ago.
In any case, brown and polar bears are relatives. And when they cross, offspring may appear. So, in one of the zoos born Grolar - a hybrid of a grizzly bear and a polar bear. In addition, over the past decade, several cases of the birth of such hybrids have been recorded in wild animals.
In the photo: a polar bear with a teddy bear. Photo: wikimedia.org
Myth 3: Polar and brown bears differ only in color.
However, to consider that the difference between brown and polar bears consists only in color is also incorrect.
Even if we take wool as a basis for comparison, it differs not only in color, but also in structure. Polar bear hairs are hollow inside, while brown bear hairs are solid.
Elin Lorenzen, representative of the University of California, in 2014 conducted a study of the genetic differences between polar and brown bears. It turned out that, for example, they have a different metabolism. Obesity is the norm for polar bears.
Myth 4: Polar bears survive in cold climates due to their special coat structure.
This myth was refuted in 1998 by physicist Daniel Kuhn. However, if polar bears do not warm their hair, how do they manage to survive in the harsh conditions of the Arctic? They are probably warmed by fat, whose reserves sometimes amount to more than half of the bear’s body weight. And an important part of the diet of these giants is fat. By the way, the level of cholesterol goes off scale in the blood of polar bears, and how they live with it is a mystery.