Are Polar Bears Cool?

We’ve covered our Arctic bear buddies before when we looked at 10 facts about these magnificent creatures. Now we’ll take a look at what these guys get up to in their daily lives to survive this harsh environment. Known as the Sea Bear, this white bundle of snow flakes is the only bear that spends so much time in and around the water. Unlike its cousins, Polar Bears mainly eat goodies that come from the sea. The hearty goodness of Seals, Walrus, Whales, Sea-birds, Kelp and Fishies make up most of its diet. For an Apex predator there’s no better feeling than showing who rules the Arctic.

Lovely Polar Bear

Curious Polar Bear... You looking at me?

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10 facts about… Sharks!

It’s been a while since we had 10 interesting facts about one of the crazy creatures we love, so this time the turn falls to our lovely friend the shark! Sharks have been in the news a lot recently, and for all the wrong reasons. Furthermore we will add a few false myths regarding sharks; but first lets crack on with 10 facts about sharks.

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Are Mammals Cold-Blooded?

The term Ectothermic is sometimes used interchangably with the term Cold-blooded. However, ectothermic comes from the greek meaning outside (ectos) and heat (thermos), i.e. describing animals that get heat from their surroundings. Cold-blooded however, isn’t really a great term as creatures that only use their surroundings to control their temperature could just as well have blood that is too hot as too cold. Reptiles are a perfect example of an ectothermic animal, basking in the sun to raise their temperature, and seeking shade when it all gets too hot!

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10 facts about… Sun Bears

As a continuation of the 10 facts about bears series this time I am covering the Sun Bear. It is one of eight different species of bear comprising the American Black Bear, Brown Bear, Giant Panda, Polar Bear, Asiatic Black Bear, Spectacled Bear and the Sloth Bear. I will also add the Sun Bear to the Vital Statistics series.

1. At just 120cm from nose tip to tail tip and reaching up to only 70cm tall on all fours, this Sun Bear geezer is definitely petit and certainly not what springs to mind when one conjures up images of bears.

2. These guys have some serious toe nail issues. Measuring in at about 10cm each, Sun Bears have ridiculously long and curvy claws. They are very handy with them too, using them to dissect trees and shred open termite mounds and beehives. They are also useful for helping them grip when climbing.

3. Sun Bears walk a little funny. The feet of a Sun Bear turn inwards slightly. This is thought to be an adaptation of its tree climbing nature. Along with its long curvy claws and inward pointing feet it also has bald flat soles on its large paws, which would all aid climbing. The female has been observed cradling its cubs while walking on its hind legs, a very unusual trait for a bear.

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Adventures and Excitement in 2010?

First off, welcome to 2010 everyone. It’s been a fun filled first few months blogging and creating I hope you are enjoying it. I certainly hadn’t expected it to involve so many things aside from researching and writing articles. A great deal of self promotion and interaction is needed to make readers aware that this blog exists. On that note a big thank you to all of you who have been reading, commenting and mailing me and I hope to build some momentum over the coming year to really make a fun place for everyone to come.

So far I have covered interesting facts about some of the different types of bears and dolphins, which I hope will become a regular feature spanning a whole host of interesting and exiting animals. I also added a bite sized statistics item for the bears to accompany this, which I hope you like.

As I love them so much, and also because I have adopted it as the image for my blog, I couldn’t help but include a piece on our amphibian friends the frogs. I picked out a few points about them which appealed to me, and I will no doubt add many more on this extremely entertaining family of creatures.

Following these were articles covering some of the more unusual animals we share our planet with as well as more serious topics. For this set I delved south of the equator and found one that lives underground, one that hops on top and yet another that likes it somewhere in between.

My goal when starting off this blog was initially to make it an informative and humorous entity but I think it might have become a bit too text driven. With this in mind I intend to include a photo and video gallery of the best crazy acting wildlife shots I can find, and I need everyone to contribute ideas and links to make this a great feature, I will then choose a couple to write about too.

In 2010 I am going to be introducing some guest authors to provide content on some of their favourite animals. Hopefully that will give another perspective and keep this blog even fresher. Equally, if you feel you have something interesting to contribute then get in touch.

I thought I would leave the most exiting announcement ‘til last and let you all know I am actually going to be travelling around South America in the very near future for a few months, so I thoroughly intend to explore and report on some interesting specimens while I am out there, hopefully with some of my own pictures and videos too! How great is that? If any of you have any hints or tips on where I should go and what I should see, especially in Central America, then please tell me.

Here’s to a great year.

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10 facts about… Polar Bears

1. The Polar Bear is the largest land carnivore on the planet. Although the Kodiak brown bear is sometimes just as big, the Polar Bear on average reaches larger sizes. The largest Polar Bear we know of weighed over 1000 kilograms.

2. Polar Bears are the top of the Arctic food chain and don’t have any natural predators. Its main threat is from the melting icecaps due to global warming and human poaching.

3. The Polar Bear is an excellent swimmer. The blubber that covers the bear is about 10cm thick and helps them float as well as keeping them warm. Its paws are very large, up to 30 cm in diameter, and very strong, enabling them to swim large distances. Distances of more than 100 km are not unusual. It can also dive about 6 meters and hold its breath for 2 minutes. A bear swims faster (10kph) than it walks (9kph).

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Vital Statistics: Bears

Sun Bear

Age Range: Sun Bears are thought to live up to 25 years in captivity and between 15 and 20 years in the wild.

Height: Between about 60 – 70 cm tall, measured to shoulder height.

Length: 120 – 150 cm nose to tail.

Weight: Adult males weigh 30 – 65 kilograms. Adult females weigh 20 – 40 kg.

Family: Ursidae.

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