Question of the Week

What do you think of cold weather?  Polar bears love it!  Their thick fur coat covers a layer of insulating fat, allowing them to be quite comfortable in the frigid Arctic.

Why do you think polar bears walk at such a leisurely pace?

     a.  they are watching for thin ice
     b.  they are afraid of slipping on the ice
     c.  they get overheated when they run
     d.  they are too heavy to move faster 


Arctic Adventure, our new traveling exhibit, opens this Saturday, January 29.

Answer:  c.  they get overheated when they run.

Polar bears have more trouble with overheating than cold, especially when they run.  They are not terribly worried about falling through thin ice; they are strong swimmers and can swim for several hours in icy water.  Their feet are covered with small bumps called papillae to keep them from slipping on the ice. Even though polar bears are heavy (males weigh 500-1700 lbs. and females weigh 200-700 lbs), they can run as fast as a horse over short distances.