Do Polar Bears and Penguins Live Together ?

It is always good to see the penguin and polar bears together in commercials and movies. But, in reality, they are pole apart, being separated from warm waters of the equator; polar bears live in the Arctic, Northern Hemisphere whereas, penguins live in Southern Hemisphere ranging from Galapagos to the Antarctic.

The cuddly appearance of both the species makes them a good matter for an advertisement to attract people especially kids. The other reason why the two adorable species are thought to live in the same place is that, the habitat of the cool icy atmosphere.

Polar bears cannot live in the warmer temperatures, but certain species of penguins like African and little penguins can live in tropical regions.

Polar Bears of Arctic:

Territory: Polar bears are endemic only to the Arctic Circle regions like Alaska of the United States, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia.

Polar Bear and cub in the Arctic
Polar Bear and cub in the Arctic

Adaptation: Beneath the fur, the body of the polar bear is black covered with 12 cm thick blubber which protects them from the frigid atmosphere. The fat reduces the loss of heat and maintains body temperature. The heat loss during the running session conserved by the blubber and prevents the polar bear from getting fatigued.

Diet: Polar bears prey mainly on seals which provide their largest fat diet. They also occasionally prey on fish, vegetation, reindeer, rodents, birds, berries, and also bird’s eggs and human garbage.

Predators: Polar bears are the mainland predator of the Arctic wilderness and it is the biggest predator animal.

The polar bear does not fall prey to any marine or land animal. Their only predators are humans.

Penguins of Antarctica:

Territory: Penguins live in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Galapagos Island which is near the north of the equator.

Emperor penguins and chicks
Emperor penguins and chicks

Adaptation: Penguins live in the Icy Antarctic as well as temperate regions. Penguins that live in the Antarctic include emperor penguins which is heavy and the body is covered with the blubber which helps them sustain the cold.

Diet: Penguins prey on squid, fish, and krill. Their main prey is krill which is shrimp-like crustaceans. Their prey depends on the availability and the region.

Predators: Penguins’ predators are leopard seals, sea lions, killer whales prey on adult penguins; whereas, skuas and giant petrels feed on the eggs, chicks and sick penguins.

Penguins Can Fall as Prey Significantly:

The adult emperor penguin weighs a maximum of around 45 kg and stands tall to the height of 122 cm. The weight and height differ from species to species.

Polar bears are one of the largest predators and it is the biggest of the bear species. An adult polar bear weighs around a maximum of 544 kg. They are most significant in hunting and do not get tired easily.

The physique of both the species is also an important aspect of why penguins may fall prey to polar bears if they live together.

Polar bears have a high natural ability to swim efficiently like penguins. Their body mass doesn’t avoid them from swimming. They can swim in the fastest speed for more than 100 km. Polar bears do not rest while swimming for long-distance.

Because of their physical ability also penguins cannot live with polar bears.

Conclusion:

Penguins can stay only in the Southern Hemisphere and polar bears are good to stay only in the Northern hemisphere. Penguins cannot fly and polar bears also cannot fly but there is an interesting similarity between the two species, which is the swimming capability.

Polar bears are also excellent swimmers. If at all they are together, penguins will not have a chance to save their lives in the wild, which would have paved the way for the extinction of penguin species. Penguins might have been in the snack list of the cuddly but dangerous predator- polar bears. Nature has made the arrangements in the wild such that there is no major offense on the lovely flightless birds- penguins.

References:

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150902-the-truth-about-polar-bears

https://www.peregrineadventures.com/blog/20/07/2011/penguins-polar-bears-same-same-different/

https://earthsky.org/earth/penguins-north-pole

http://scienceblogs.com/sciencewoman/2007/12/18/polar-bears-and-penguins/

Image Credit: 

  1. Polar Bear and cub in the Arctic by Christopher Michel / CC BY
  2. Emperor penguins and chicks by BDougherty / Pixabay License
David
 

I got interested in penguins from a young age and as I grew I realized that penguins are such fascinating birds. I made it a mission to create a website where all information about penguins could be accessed in an easy to read format.

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