Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are generally known for their excellent swimming abilities. They are highly powerful swimmers for they can swim hundreds of miles across the bays. Ice bears are thought to swim for hours or even days without stopping. They will swim at a speed of about 10 km/h (6 mph). The unique adaptations of swimming and numerous hunting techniques make polar bear the deadliest predator in the Arctic Ocean. However what makes it the all-round predator is that the bear is equally good on land. Over the past recent years they have adapted to hunting on land by devising creative ways during warmer months. Let us learn more about how fast can a polar bear swim?
How Fast Can a Polar Bear Swim?
Polar bears never hesitate to swim as a matter of fact they love spending hours in water. There is a reason why they are also called marine mammals. They will cover 100 kilometers (62 miles) in a single journey with ease. One of bears holds the highest record in which it covered as much as 400 mi (687 km) in a single venture. She swam in the icy cold water of the Bering Sea. After taking rest for few hours she resumed her journey and covered another 1,100 miles (1,800 km). This shows that polar bears are no less than other marine mammals in their swimming traits.
Polar bears possess the amazing ability to swim in the right direction even in darkness. This is quite handy because the darkness prevails as long as six months in the Arctic Circle.
Scientists also observed swimming records of several female polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. Researchers couldn’t estimate the timing of male bears because their necks were too thick to be fit in GPS-equipped collars. They recorded the maximum duration of 354 kilometers (220 mi) but most bears could swim for about 155 kilometers (96 mi) in one voyage.
Read More: How Far Can a Polar Bear Swim?
How Long Do Polar Bears Swim without Stopping?
Polar bears spend half of its life in swimming and one cannot cast doubts on how much time it takes in swimming. They are unarguably strong swimmers. White bears will swim for 7 – 10 hours a day. Scientists recorded the maximum time ever taken by a polar bear were 9 days. A female bear swam for about 9 days (or 216 hours) in the Bering Sea without resting.
Read More: How Do Polar Bears Swim?
How Deep Do Polar Bears Dive? | How Long can a Polar Bear Hold its Breadth?
Polar bears typically dive 3 – 4.5 m (9.8 – 14.8 ft.) deep into the water and they can remain submerged for as long as three minutes. Normally they swim near the surface so that their nose remains exposed out of water. They don’t really swim underwater except in rare situations when they must follow seals or ice floes.
How Deep Can a Polar Bear Dive?
Researchers still need to study how deep polar bears actually dive into the sea. One of the researchers claimed that an individual bear dived as deep as 6 m (20 ft.) which might be the deepest dive for an arctic predator.
The longest dive duration in polar bear’s dive is estimated at 3 minutes and 10 seconds and it covered a distance of about 45 to 50 m (148–164 ft.)