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Polar Bear Handstand

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From One World One Ocean, it’s a polar bear doing a handstand in the water. Because.

More about swimming polar bears via Scientific Reports: Aquatic behaviour of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in an increasingly ice-free Arctic.

Polar bears are strong swimmers that are classified as marine mammals because of their strong dependence on marine food resources. This species hunts ice-associated seals (and whales) in areas with land-fast ice or drifting pack-ice and is therefore associated with environments that are naturally a mixture of open water and sea ice. Polar bears also hunt on land, or from shore, when there is little or no ice. During such times, swimming can be the easiest (or only) way to get to a desired destination, either because water must be crossed to achieve the shortest route, or because swimming might allow them to avoid difficult terrain (e.g. coastal cliffs, glacier fronts), or because the destination is an island surrounded by open water. They also swim and dive to:

(1) approach seals resting on ice floes;

(2) hunt birds, fish, beluga or narwhal and;

(3) access other marine resources such as seaweed or sunken cadavers.

Polar bears also go into the sea to clean themselves or to cool down. In short, there are many reasons why polar bears spend time in the water and not surprisingly they are very comfortable in this environment and are clearly well adapted to it.

polar bear handstand
Next, watch The Quest for Sea Ice: Swimming with polar bears and a camera.

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