February 27th is International Polar Bear Day! It is a time to show your commitment to these magnificent animals and their threatened habitat by taking a meaningful step (or two) to reduce CO2.
Myths about Polar Bears:
Covering its nose. Dr. Ian Stirling and several assistants used telescopes to watch undisturbed polar bears hunting seals in the Canadian High Arctic, 24 hours a day when conditions permitted, in both spring and summer conditions, for several weeks each year for several years. They documented the details of many hundreds of hunts. No bear was ever seen putting a paw over its nose while stalking a seal. Nor have other polar bear biologists ever observed this behavior. Simply from a mechanical point of view, Stirling expresses puzzlement about just how a bear might walk, crawl, or stalk on three legs while holding its paw over its nose for an extended period since most stalks on the sea ice cover 50 to as much as 200 meters.
Left-pawed. Great white bears are not left-pawed. Scientists observing the animals haven't noticed a preference. In fact, polar bears seem to use their right and left paws equally.
Use of tools. Polar bears do not use tools, including blocks of ice, to kill their prey. Scientist Ian Stirling believes that this idea may have come about because, after failing to catch a seal, a frustrated and angry polar bear may kick the snow, slap the ground or hurl chunks of ice.