Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) communicate with each other not only through words but also by actions. They speak to one another just like we humans do. One of their body postures is known as head wagging which is a sign of excitement and suggests that the bear wants to play. Polar bears also communicate through smell, sight, and touch. They will utter growling call or grind their teeth when they are offended. Polar bear cubs are likely to smack their lips which indicate that they are scared.
How Do Polar Bears Communicate?
Adult males often fight in playing and they do so when one of the individuals advances towards the other by lowering down its head; not looking into other’s eyes, with mouth closed and front paws to the side. The first contact is typically made by mouthing and touching the other’s neck. Minutes later they both stand only on hind legs which shows they are ready to play-fight. During play-fight one polar bear will push the other with her forepaws.
How Do Female Polar Bears Communicate with her Cubs?
A female polar bear is known to communicate with her cubs by touching her muzzle, body, and paws. When mother is angry she just touches cubs with her forepaws or utter a low growling sound but when she wants to show affection she might use her muzzle against the cub’s muzzle. In order to give comforts to the cubs the mother mostly nuzzles her snout. When she wants to send warning or threat signal to her cubs then she utters chuffing sound. The cubs respond to her call and get as close to her as possible.
When polar bears growl it means that they are extremely angry. A deep growling may also suggest the mother bear is protecting her food—she is just telling others to stay away. If an intruder doesn’t listen to her warning then she might charge with her heads down and ears back. However apart from that mother usually avoid getting into conflict with adult males and they only do so when provoked. She would also stay downwind of aggressive bears so that it may not smell her.