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Name: Cheryl L. D.
Status: educator
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2002


Question:
Do polar bears hibernate during the winter months?


Replies:
Yes!

Peter Faletra Ph.D.
Assistant Director
Science Education
Office of Science
Department of Energy

There is a definition to understand concerning hybernation.

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/zoo00/zoo00049.htm

May help.

Steve Sample


A google search turned this extensive site up first
http://www.polarbearsalive.org/facts4.htm

And this detailed information from
http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/PolarBears/pbbehavior.html

"3. Only pregnant female polar bears hibernate.

a. Polar bears are not deep hibernators, but enter a state of carnivore lethargy. Though hibernating females sleep soundly, they are easily and quickly aroused.

b. The female polar bear's heart rate slows to about 27 beats per minute from a normal resting heart rate of about 46 beats per minute (Stirling, 1988).

c. When hibernating, a female's body temperature may drop slightly, perhaps to 35C (95F), or it may remain normal at 37C (98.6F). Unlike most other hibernators, female polar bears give birth while hibernating. High body temperature is needed to meet the demands of pregnancy, birth, and nursing (Stirling, 1988)."

J. Elliott


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