Many people think about this question but few are able to find the answer to this question because when you speaking about hibernation first you have to understand the definition of hibernation and only once you’re able to understand what hibernation actually is you would be able to find out the answer to the question do polar bears hibernate.
What is hibernation?
Hibernation is basically a state of the body in which the metabolic rate of the body is reduced and the other functions of the body like the heartbeat and the brain activity is also reduced and the temperature of the body is just around the temperature which is around and in the range of 1°C deviation from the temperature which is around.
Since all the bodily functions are reduced to drastically low level, the quantity of food which is required is also very less.
That is why, hibernation usually happens during the winters when the animals do not have enough food to consume. Not all animals hibernate but only a small part of animals hibernate.
Do polar bears hibernate?
This is the question which we started with and the answer is no, polar bears do not hibernate. The only occasion when a polar bears hibernate is when the female polar bear is giving birth to cubs. This stage is similar to hibernation and it is called as carnivore lethargy. The reason that it is similar to hibernation is because the metabolic rate of the female polar bear was giving the bird has reduced to a level which is similar to hibernating.
The other bodily functions like the heart rate and breathing are also reduced but the temperature of the body is not reduced at all as happens during hibernation. They do the temperature of the body remaining relatively high this stage is not exactly known as hibernation but it is similar to hibernation.
Why do polar bears do not hibernate?
When you’re speaking about the hibernation, you have to understand that in order to wake up from the hibernation energy is required as well to ensure that the bodily functions return back to normal.
In case of polar bear, the size of the polar bear is such that the energy which the polar bear saves by hibernating, would be negated by the energy which is required for the polar bear to come out of hibernation. Due to the size of the polar bear at the energy which is required by the polar bear to come out of hibernation would be much much greater as compared to other animals who go to hibernation stage.
Polar bears practice what is known as walking hibernation and this is only for the male polar bears and the female polar bears who are not pregnant. This happens during the summer instead of the winter.
During the summer the ice cover is completely disappears from the habitat and therefore they cannot get the seals which is therefore. Due to this, in summer most of the time the polar bears actually sleep or just stay at one place to save up energy and to use the fat which is in their body to pass through the summer season.
This is not exactly hibernating but it is a process similar to that because it decreases the bodily functions of the polar bear but not too drastic level of hibernation but just to the level so that it is able to save the energy and go through the summer season.
There are some other animals which of four hibernation which are much more different than the polar bear but they are a classic example of hibernating animals and one of them is the ground squirrel which can hibernate for up to 9 months during the winter during which its temperature is just reduce to 1°C.
Polar bears, are much more different than the other type of bears which may hibernate but to answer the question no polar bears do not hibernate. The reason which we have mentioned above is pretty valid because the amount of energy which would be saved would not be enough for the polar bears to come out of hibernation.
However, polar bears actually find a way to feed themselves during the winter as it is frozen in their surroundings and they are able to get a lot of seals which is their food.
Hibernation happens when animals are able to find a lot of food during the summer months the so that they are able to store the nutrients and the fats in their body so that they can use them up during the winter season.
In most of the cases if you observe the hibernating animals you would realise that they hibernate during the winter when it is very difficult for them to find the food. That is why, even for the other type of bears which hibernate the process is very much different as compared to the hibernation of other animals.
Polar bears do not hibernate and they are able to get a lot of food during the winter season and thereby giving them no reason to hibernate during the winter season since it is actually the season in which they would be getting a lot of food and in which they can build up the fat reserves in their body.
Polar bears are interesting creatures but they are an endangered species. The specie of polar bear is on the verge of extinction. This is due to the global warming which is taking place all around the world which is actually robbing the polar bears of their habitat.
If you do not act soon, the habitat of the polar bears would be completely destroyed because of the less ice cover which is pretty vital for the polar bears to survive. It is in our hands now to make this specie live instead of getting extinct. All over the world efforts are being taken to save this specie. We just had to reduce our carbon footprint so that the ice does not melt at such a rapid pace.
Polar bears, are maintaining the ecological balance which is much needed in the for food pyramid as well as in nature.