Yes, polar bears like all other bears do have tails. You might wonder that you haven’t noticed one yet in pictures, videos or in the zoo. It is because of its small size. It is small enough to make it unnoticeable and make people wonder Do Polar Bears Have Tails. Unlike other animals, the tail of Polar Bears is not its distinctive body feature. As it is not one of the Polar Bears’ prominent features so it is rarely discussed and pointed out. Many people do believe that polar bears have no tails but in reality its does exists. It is a small round piece of skin that is one of its adaptation to prevent heat loss in the freezing arctic. We have gathered some really amazing information about the Polar Bear Tail, continue reading to know more about it.
Do Polar Bears Have Tails – Polar Bear Tail
Polar Bear Tail Facts
- The polar bear tail is small and compact.
- Like the rest of the body it is covered with the fur.
- Its length is about 7 to 13 cm i.e. 2.8 to 4.7 inches.
- The polar bear coat is up to 5 cm (2 inches) thick and its hairs are up to 15 cm (6 inches) long. This hides the tail and makes it unnoticeable.
- The tail has a blood vessel and like the other parts of the body, it is also protected by extra layer of fat and fur to prevent it from freezing.
Why do polar bears have a tail?
- The small tail size also helps in surviving the cold. A bigger tail would have more surface area and thus a larger area susceptible to heat loss. On the other hand a small tail has less surface area and smaller area susceptible to heat loss.
- The polar bear tail protects its rear from the cold and keeps it warm.
- Unlike other animals where the tail serves the purpose of balancing and communication, the polar bear tail do not have any such function.
Why is the Polar Bear Tail so Small
- Scientists believe that polar bears did have a long tail millions of years ago.
- The tail reduced in size as time passed by. It reduced in size because polar bears were not using it like other animals.
- Other animals used their tails for balancing, communication and defense purposes but polar bears had no use for it. Polar bears do not communicate via its tail, it stands on its hind leg to communicate with other bears.
- With no purpose, the tail reduced in size in the process of evolution.
Learn more: Polar Bear Facts for Kids
Polar Bear Tail Size Comparison with Other Bears
- Polar Bear: 7 to 13 cm.
- Brown Bear: 6 – 22 cm.
- American Black Bear: 7.7–17.7 cm.
- Asian Black Bear: 6.5 to 10.6 cm.
- Sun Bear: 3 – 7 cm
- Spectacled Bear: upto 7 cm
- Giant Panda: 10 – 15 cm
Native American Fable About Polar Bear Tail
There is an interesting Native American Fable that explains why the bear lost its tail. According to the fable, the wil fox conned the bear to use its tail for ice fishing. The bear’s tail came off when it tried to pull it out from the frozen ice. The fable also suggests that due to this reason the foxes and bears also do not get along very well.