The marine bear - lesser known facts.

September 27, 2012  •  4 Comments

Polar bears are maybe one of the most fascinating species on the planet. This, the largest bear  (Ursus maritimus) (not Ursula maritimus as one of the expedition staff said...) is a marine species, and although general hunting of them has ceased, they are very vulnerable, especially to the consequences of climate change - loss of their main habitat, the sea ice.

I will post more pictures of ice later, but first - a few less well-known facts about polar bears.

Polar bears are incredibly strong animals. To keep fit they like to lift stones. To practice for the annual stone-lifting contest, they generally start with small ones and move on up as their fitness improves.

 

This female is strolling along the shoreline, in search of a suitable stone.

 

Polar bear female, looking for food

 

A satisfactory stone is found.

Big bear - big stone.

 

Before the actual lifting, a ceremonial gesture in honour of the judges.

Come on. Make my day!

 

Now, it's important to note that the rules say "Lift with toes only". This is to impress the spectators. Polar bears like to show off.
 

Big bear - big stone 2

 

To encourage the participants of this sport there is a small reward underneath each stone. 

Treats under the stones

 

This is especially popular with the beginners.

I'll turn the big stones one day.

 

Polar bears are very enthusiastic about this sport, but of course, the endless admiration from the younger fans can be a bit too much for a champion stone-lifter.

Can I have some more ice cream, please?

 

Stone-lifting is a serious sport, but it's very important to relax once in a while and not take it too seriously.

Legs up!

Time for play

Want a hug?

Advice from the coach is always welcome.

Mother and cub

 

When they are not busy staying fit and strong, polar bears like to enjoy more sophisticated things like meditation and philosophy.

Pythagoras the bear

 

The current trend is to meditate on top of triangles, supposedly it brings a higher level of inner peace. But only if you do it facing both ways.

Pythagoras the bear

 

Those who are not into meditation often enjoy painting. This bear is currently hot on the Arctic art scene, she paints only using natural fibre brushes, and organic paints. Making one's own paint - a kind of tempera using natural pigments with iron - is especially popular. Paintings are generally abstract, and reflect the inner aggressive self of those bears who don't meditate on top of triangles.

Painting with red

 

The two half-finished circles represent the unfulfilled life of the ... paintbrush.

The artist

 

The artist herself. This is from the vernissage last week. It ran rather late in the evening and everyone drank too much.

I'm really cuddly!

Want to come down?

 

So. Now you know some more about the secret life of polar bears. If you are actually looking for better documented facts on the species, for example for school assignments, you might enjoy this article better: http://www.npolar.no/en/species/polar-bear.html

Should you decide to quote my facts here presented...

Blah! Me too! Blah! Oh blah! Oh blah! Your choice.

More images in the gallery "Arctic".

Thanks for looking!

 


Comments

Per(non-registered)
:-) Flotte bilder og morsomme fakta!
Cathrine Stephansen
Thanks Elaine, great travelling with you too! What an experience!
Elaine Heron(non-registered)
Hi Catherine,
I loved it--wonderful images and great sense of humor. It was great to travel with you.
Elaine
Heidi(non-registered)
Helt herlige bilder Cathrine. For en opplevelse, og så fint at du deler med alle oss andre. Likte også historien om isbjørnens liv veldig godt. Klem :-)
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