Longest recorded underwater dive by a polar bear

  title={Longest recorded underwater dive by a polar bear},
  author={Ian Stirling and Rinie van Meurs},
  journal={Polar Biology},
The maximum dive duration for a wild polar bear (Ursus maritimus) of any age is unknown, and opportunities to document long dives by undisturbed bears are rare. We describe the longest dive reported to date, by a wild undisturbed adult male polar bear. This dive was made during an aquatic stalk of three bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) lying several meters from each other at the edge of an annual ice floe. The bear dove for a total duration of 3 min 10 s and swam 45–50 m without surfacing to… 
Aquatic behaviour of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in an increasingly ice-free Arctic
The considerable swimming and diving capacities of polar bears might provide them with tools to exploit aquatic environments previously not utilized, likely to be increasingly important to the species’ survival in an Arctic with little or no persistent sea ice.
Migratory response of polar bears to sea ice loss: to swim or not to swim
Results corroborate the hypothesis that long‐distance swimming by polar bears is likely to occur more frequently as sea ice conditions change due to climate warming, but also suggest that the magnitude of the effect likely varies within and between populations.
Land to sea transitions in vertebrates: the dynamics of colonization
Rates of marine entry increased during the Cenozoic, in part because of rising productivity and in part thanks to the participation of warm-blooded birds and mammals, which broadened the range of thermal environments in which initial colonization of the sea became possible.
Diving deep: Understanding the genetic components of hypoxia tolerance in marine mammals.
  • A. Hindle
  • Biology
    Journal of applied physiology
  • 2020
Given the inherent logistical and regulatory difficulties associated with functional genetic experiments in marine mammals, several avenues of further investigation are suggested to enable validation of candidate genes for hypoxia tolerance: leveraging phylogeny to better understand convergent phenotypes; ontogenic studies to identify regulation of key genes underlying the elite, adult, Hypoxia-tolerant physiology; and cell culture manipulations to understand gene function.
Human–Polar Bear Interactions in a Changing Arctic: Existing and Emerging Concerns
The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to
Diving Physiology of Marine Mammals and Seabirds
Diving behavior, challenges of the breath hold and the environment, and the aerobic dive limit (ADL) - the maximum tolerated level of diving activity.
Improving Captive Marine Mammal Welfare in the United States: Science-Based Recommendations for Improved Regulatory Requirements for Captive Marine Mammal Care
Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act1 (AWA) in order “to ensure the humane care and treatment of various animals used in research or for exhibition or kept as pets.2 To this end, the Act requires,
Do Wild Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) Use Tools When Hunting Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus)?
It is suggested that possible tool use by polar bears in the wild is infrequent and mainly limited to hunting walruses because of their large size, difficulty to kill, and their possession of potentially lethal weapons for both their own defense and the direct attack of a predator.
Plate Section (PDF Only)
  • Engineering
    Bears of the World
  • 2020


Observations of a wild polar bear (Ursus maritimus) successfully fishing Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and Fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis)
Observations of a young male polar bear catching Arctic charr and Fourhorn sculpin by diving in Creswell Bay, Nunavut are document.
Polar Bear: Ursus maritimus
Midsummer observations on the behavior of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus)
A diurnal rhythm was recorded in which bears slept most during the latter third of the 24-h cycle and least in the first third, and all cubs observed hunted, but they exhibited great variety in patience and apparent skill.
Biomechanical Consequences of Rapid Evolution in the Polar Bear Lineage
Results indicate that extremely rapid evolution of semi-aquatic adaptations and dietary specialization in the polar bear lineage produced a cranial morphology that is weaker than that of brown bears and less suited to processing tough omnivorous or herbivorous diets.
The Food Habits of Polar Bears of James Bay and Southwest Hudson Bay in Summer and Autumn
A study of summer and autumn food habits of polar bears ( Ursus maritimus Phipps) on some islands of James Bay and the coastal mainland of southwest Hudson Bay was conducted in 1968 and 1969.
Ecomorphological correlates of craniodental variation in bears and paleobiological implications for extinct taxa: an approach based on geometric morphometrics
Results reveal a set of shared craniodental traits among the herbivorous bears, including short and vaulted skulls with well-developed zygomatic arches, lateralized orbits and small canines, concave jaws with a highly positioned condyle, large moment arms for the temporalis and masseter muscles, and long cheek teeth.
Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals
This thorough revision of the classic first edition brings this authoritative book right up-to-date. Articles describe every species in detail, based on the very latest taxonomy, and a host of
Genomic evidence of geographically widespread effect of gene flow from polar bears into brown bears
Analysis of data from a large panel of polar bear and brown bear genomes provides clear evidence that gene flow between the two species had a geographically wide impact, with polar bear DNA found within the genomes of brown bears living both on the ABC islands and in the Alaskan mainland.
Polar and brown bear genomes reveal ancient admixture and demographic footprints of past climate change
It is demonstrated that brown bears and PBs have had sufficiently independent evolutionary histories over the last 4–5 million years to leave imprints in the PB nuclear genome that likely are associated with ecological adaptation to the Arctic environment.