‘Ooh Rah’ – Here Come The Marines of the Animal Kingdom – Ursus Maritimus
The science behind polar bear hairs is quite interesting, in that their fur is transparent. Those long guard hairs are essentially hollow, with a multitude of air-cells in a fractal like pattern that scatters and diffuses the light very effectively for all spectrums. This is what makes the bears appear white (their skin is actually black), and gives them a camouflage when on snow or ice when hunting. It’s also great insulation because its like they are wearing a bubble-wrap coat on top of an 11 cm layer of blubber.
Unlike many other bears like grizzlies, polar bears have soft papillae on the bottom of their paws, the bumps that act like treads on the ice. Additionally, the paws are very wide to distribute the weight on snow, like snowshoes, and the toes are webbed for better swimming.
This bear was grooming itself, and happened to go into this pose, which immediately reminded me of childhood game/torment that I used to play with my brother, called “Stinky Toes in your Nose”, and had me laughing at the memory for sure.
I liked the image so much I turned it into a bath towel that people can order!
Polar Bear Kung Fu Practice?
Actually not, cause when you have 30cm wide paws (largest paws on earth) with 9cm claws.. one swipe of that paw could easily decapitate a human, so you have a built in Touch of Death (Dim Mak).
Another classic Polar bear pose, sometimes they just rest in this position, and sometimes they play “snowplow” this way to help clean their fur on the underside!
Polar bears are very clean, and they spend plenty of time in grooming using their tongue, or washing their bodies in the water or on snow.
Backscratch and a Snowbath!
Researchers believe that they clean up after feeding in order to remove any smell of their prey that would interfere with them sniffing out their next meal!
Stay tuned for more polar bear posts coming daily until International Polar Bear Day on Feb 27th!