Polar bears gain speed


The bear is a large and strong beast. It is believed that hearing and sight in these animals are not the best. But, since bears belong to the order of psovoobraznyh and, therefore, are related by kinship with dogs, they are distinguished by a developed sense of smell. It is a good scent that helps them find food. Not without reason, scientists believe that bears have the best sense of smell among members of the mammalian class.

When describing this animal, it is worth mentioning the body of a large size, short, stocky legs, elongated face, thick hair is usually dark in color (if it is not a polar bear) and five claws on each leg are not drawn.

This animal is able to move quite quickly. Below in the article we will talk about the speed of a bear when running.

It is believed that a bear rarely shows aggressiveness, and if it does, it means that it either protects its territory or its young, or it is thoroughly hungry.


The first bears on the planet appeared at least five million years ago. The oldest fossils of these animals are found in France. Today, scientists know four kinds of this beast, of which the polar bear is considered the youngest by origin. Its total biological age is only two hundred thousand years.

The body length of a bear can reach 2 meters (white-breasted and black bears) and 3 meters (white and brown).

Maximum body weight - 750-800 kg. These dimensions, of course, are large, but not comparable with the dimensions of the giant short-mouthed bear that lived in Sulfur America as early as the Pleistocene epoch and long since extinct. He, standing on his hind legs, could almost be three times higher than the average person, and the mass of the largest representatives reached one and a half tons!

Where is it?

The most common in terms of numbers and one of the largest predators is the brown or ordinary bear. Now its habitat, of course, much less than in the old days. It is also found, in particular, in the Pyrenees, the Alps, in some places in the Scandinavian countries, in Asia - in Iran, Northern China, and Japan. Still quite numerous in Alaska and Northern Canada. In Russia, the habitat roughly coincides with the forest zone, except for the southern regions and tundra.

As habitats, bears (except polar, of course) prefer mountainous areas, dense forest thickets and windbreaks.

What feeds on

The bear, although considered a predator, is essentially omnivorous. His diet consists of berries, roots and stalks of herbs, nuts. Bears do an excellent job of fishing in small rivers or in the shallow waters of large rivers. Bird nests and bee hives are ravaging, insects are caught. In spring, when there is little vegetation, the bear can attack a roe deer or even a moose. This animal is very strong - with one blow of its paw it can kill, for example, a deer ridge.

By the fall, a bear, who had accumulated subcutaneous fat over the summer, arranges a den in his pits and under the roots of trees, warming it with branches and moss. Winter bear sleep (depending on the region of the habitat and the age of the individual) can last from 75 to 200 days. During one wintering, the animal, as a rule, loses up to 80 kg of weight.

Travel speed

It may seem that the bear is a large and clumsy beast. In fact, this beast is able to move quite briskly. What is the speed of a bear in km / h? The maximum is about 50. And this, if we are talking about the speed of a brown bear, the grizzly can “carap” even faster - up to 56-60 kilometers per hour. Also, bears swim excellently and climb trees with decent agility. True, the latter is more often done by young animals. In addition, a bear can withstand long-distance running for quite a long time, albeit at a much lower speed.

Why, then, are insects and fish in the shallows rather than small ungulates or, for example, hares, the main prey of a bear-hunter? Without a doubt, at such a speed of a bear, when running, he would often feast on any of these animals - but more often there are shots that show how this animal takes the deer from the wolves, and does not hunt on its own.

Probably, the speed of the bear when running is not a decisive factor. Bear, a large and, whatever you say, rather cumbersome beast, you still need to accelerate, and it is desirable that nothing should interfere with the run. That is, the terrain should be flat and not particularly wooded. There are other videos on which a bear chases a field of roe deer across the field (for reference: the speed that a roe deer, an elk or a hare develops most often fluctuates in the same as a bear’s limits: it is 50-60 kilometers per hour) and catching up with the latest runner only in the final minutes of the footage. Without a doubt, adult well-fed predator is not easy to do. But if the victim got into the zone of the bear's reach, write it was gone - as already mentioned above, this predator is able to knock it down with one blow.

In addition, it is known that such creatures as the hare, develop a maximum speed in the fifth second of the run. Long legs allow him to make the first jump by three to five meters, and after landing he bends his back like a spring, preparing for a new jump. Thus, to hunt, being in ambush, even possess a bear and greater speed when running, he would hardly be able to: for a predator, earning food for itself in this way, the most important thing is dexterity and quick dispersal, and both in forest thickets and in ravines and in mountainous areas.

Bearing instinct in a bear, like in most predators, causes a running (animal, human), therefore seasoned hunters and travelers advise not to run away from the beast encountered. After all, then he just throws you in pursuit, and the bear runs faster than a man.

Above, we told, in particular, about how fast a bear develops when running.

Difference of a northern bear from a brown relative

As already mentioned, polar bears are considered one of the largest predators on the planet. Sometimes their body weight reaches 1000 kg. But it is in males, female representatives weigh much less - on average, from 150 to 250 kg. The growth of their nature also endowed: an adult bear at the withers reaches 150 centimeters, and the length can be under three meters.

These animals also differ from their relatives and body structure: the lower part is more rounded, while the upper part is narrow. Polar bears also have a long neck that allows them to keep their heads above the water while swimming. They are distinguished from brown relatives by the presence of small ears.

Another feature is that polar bears do not hibernate. Only pregnant females can rest, the rest are active most of the year. The exception is if for some reason it is not possible to catch prey in a heavy polar night. Then the bears briefly lie in the den, in order to save strength and reduce metabolism.

Being fat is sometimes good!

Under the skin, these animals have 11 cm of fat. In cold weather conditions can not do without it. He warms the bear, and in case of lack of food will help to survive hunger and not die. A large foot area - about 30 cm - helps to distribute the weight when the bear steps on the ice.

The feet of the paws are covered with small tubercles resembling the bumps. Wool grows between the fingers of polar bears, thanks to which they move well on slippery surfaces. There are membranes on the feet for better movement in the water.

Amazing light absorbing fur coat

The polar polar bear has dense and thick fur and a warm undercoat. Animal skin is black, and the hair itself is transparent and empty, it absorbs sunlight and retains heat. And thanks to the black color of the skin, maximum saturation of the sun occurs.

Coat color may depend on weather conditions. So, in warm weather, algae can get stuck and multiply in the fur of an animal, and then it becomes greenish. It is believed that the polar bear is a congener of our brown bear, but with the passage of time, when the beast fell into the cold environment of the Arctic region, the body and other features began to evolve, adjusting to the climatic conditions.

However, despite significant differences, white and brown bears can interbreed and have offspring: as a result, hybrid bear cubs are born, which can continue in the genus. These cases are quite rare, but they have a place to be in nature and in captivity.

Where the person did not go

The polar bear lives in the Far North. It is also known that the white giant can live where people have not yet passed. Travelers met him on the east coast of America, on Svalbard and other islands. In Lapland and Iceland, the bear can be seen drifting on an ice floe.

The polar predator can get to other warm countries only if it is brought there on a block of ice.

Movement methods

Despite the fact that a polar bear is born on land, it spends most of its time in the water, hunting for marine life. Because of this, he had another name - "sea bear". There was a case when one bear sailed along the Bering Sea for 9 days without stopping to the nearest ice floe and covered a distance of 687 km.

By the way this huge animal moves, it can be assumed that it is clumsy and slow-moving. But this opinion is wrong. The polar bear develops speed when swimming up to 4-5 km per hour. A large amount of fat under the skin allows the beast to easily stay on the ocean surface, replacing the air cushion.

Despite the fact that by nature the bear has an awkward gait, he runs, if necessary, quite cleverly. So, the speed of a polar bear can be compared with that of a horse racing at a gallop. But they rarely use the resources of the body to the maximum - due to the fact that they can quickly overheat.

Extraction of food

Polar bears get food for themselves by hunting walruses, seals, seals and many other inhabitants of the northern seas. Thanks to the quiet gait, the white predator almost silently sneaks up on the seal lying in the sun and attacks it from a distance of 5 meters, leaving no chance for salvation.

Polar bears also use intellectual tricks: covering a black nose with a paw (remember Umka?), They become invisible on white snow. There were cases when the whale stuck among the ice floes and became food for the bear. However, the animal does not completely eat up its prey, leaving the least tasty parts to Arctic foxes and other scavengers of the northern edge. However, this does not mean that the polar bear is a spoiled gourmet. If he accidentally wanders into the village, he may well find food in the garbage.

Mating season

The period of puberty in bears comes years to four, the males a little later. Polar bears fall during warm spring months. The pregnancy of the female lasts, like in humans, 9 months. In the first year, usually no more than one cub appears. In the future, a bear can give birth to two or three cubs at intervals of two to three years. Offspring reproduce polar bears in a den, dug in the snow or the ground. Due to the thick layer of snow covering the top of the bear housing, the temperature in it is 10-20 degrees higher than on the surface.

Bear cubs are born bald and blind. But by the month their eyes open, and by two the teeth erupt. Despite the impressive body weight of the mother, the newborn polar bear cub weighs a little over 500 grams. Such a small weight is due to the fact that during the period of pregnancy bears do not eat anything, as well as after birth, which distinguishes them from other animals, which during this period are intensively eaten for themselves and for their children.

Males are very aggressive, especially during the mating season. To win the right to mate, often have to compete with other applicants. The females, on the contrary, do not fight each other and are friendly to each other. Often they can coexist with other bears, it happens, they even take orphaned cubs and feed them with their own milk, treating them like their cubs.

Polar bear milk is very fatty and contains many nutrients. The cubs are quickly saturated with them, and they have a good weight gain. By two months, the bear's weight is 10 kg. Babies at five months can eat together with adults, however, the breastfeeding period lasts up to 2-3 years. During this period, the cubs are almost catching up with their mother.

The cubs can play with each other, fight, nibbling the opponent. In this way they prepare for adulthood, in which they are to hunt and defend themselves.

Reasons for reducing animal populations

Polar bears cannot survive without ice. It is used to regulate the life cycle of animals, which allows them to breed, feed themselves, feed their young and move from place to place. Therefore, the melting of the ice leads to the extinction of these beautiful and stately inhabitants of northern latitudes. In 2008, the population of these animals was about 25 thousand individuals. And their numbers are reduced primarily due to climate change.

People hunt for these beauties because of the magnificent warm fur, meat and fat. A small part of the little cubs, when they manage to take them alive, falls into zoos and circuses. Meat and bear fat are eaten by residents of the Far North, but only dogs feed it with liver. It is believed that it is harmful and even poisonous. From fur, Eskimos sew boots and hide them in chums, but for fur coats, it is not suitable.

White bears also have their own holiday: International Polar Bear Day is celebrated on February 27th.

6 simple rules when meeting with a bear

1. The first and most important thing is to NEVER RUN NOW! If you encounter a bear, stop right away. When people are afraid of something, natural instinct usually causes them to run. When meeting with a bear, running is the worst decision. When running at 100 meters for the best sprinters, the maximum speed reaches 12 m / s, which is 43 km / h, while bears run at a speed of about 60 km / h. That is, with all the desire to get away from it, you can not, especially over rough terrain.

If you run from a bear, the natural instinct of persecution will push him to run after you and sometimes harm you. The predator's logic is simple: if it runs away, it means prey. Therefore, the first and most important rule is to make it clear to the bear that you are not a prey, but a human. If you can't remember any more rules, remember the most important thing - IN NO EVENT, DO NOT RUN FROM THE BEAR!

2. The second thing you need to remember in case of a meeting with a bear is slowly GET CLOSE TO THE PEOPLE YOU ARE WITH. You have to get close to them so that you can take their hand. You will immediately find yourself in greater security! The fact is that a bear, like any other animal, cannot count. He sees either one person or a group. A group of people is very unlikely to be attacked.

3. Make it clear to the bear that you are human. Talk to the bear. Raise your hands. Help the bear recognize you. If the bear cannot recognize who you are, he may come closer or stand on his hind legs to get a better look or sniff. A standing bear usually shows curiosity, it is not dangerous.

4. You can try to slowly back away diagonally, but if the bear begins to follow you, stop and do not leave the place. Do not panic, do not let the bear understand that you are scared.

5. At the first opportunity, try to slowly increase the distance between the bear and you. This will show the bear that you do not want to harm him. In most cases, when a bear realizes that you are a person, he will run away or leave you. Remember that people brought bears much more misfortune and evil than the other way around.

6. After everything is finished, immediately leave the place where you met the bear. Even if the bear who met with you is gone, he may decide to find food or rest here. In order not to put yourself at risk again, leave this place immediately.