Yes, polar bears do have tails. However the size is so small that one can barely notice it. It is almost as if the bear lacks one. Arctic bears have tiny tails as is typical of all bears. Unlike other bear’s characteristics, tail appears to be quite irrelevant in polar bear’s behavioral adaptations. It doesn’t seem to be a defining feature of a large, potentially dangerous polar bear. Let’s find out why do polar bears have tails.
Do Polar Bears have Tails?
But…the question is why don’t polar bears have long tails? Studies suggest that millions of years ago polar bears had possessed possess long tails. As the bear evolves it eventually loses the length of its tail so much so that one can easily classify polar bear as a tail-less predator.
Currently, polar bears have only 5-inches-long stubby tails which are in absolute contrast to the massive body size.
Polar bear’s tail not only has an extra blood vessel—it possesses an additional layer of fat which prevents the tail from freezing in extreme temperature. The tail is all covered with furs and its only possible function is to protect the polar bear’s anus.
Researchers believe that bears let alone polar bears lose their tail-length in the process of evolution because they probably didn’t need one. This is quite rare in other land carnivores such as dogs. Dog’s tail serves as an important tool in communication.
Dogs wag tails when they are happy. Similarly macaques use their long tails to balance their bodies while moving between the trees. Cheetah’s tail helps her to steer as well as to stabilize while sprinting at 70 miles per hour.
Polar bears on the other hand prefer to communicate head on. They will stand on hind legs to send specific signals to their counterparts. But polar bears will never use tails in the same way as other mammals do. In fact, ironically perhaps they don’t know if they ever had one on their back.