Senses

Polar Bears

Senses

Hearing

  1. Little is known about hearing in polar bears. However, in air polar bears probably hear at a slightly wider range of frequencies than humans (up to 25 kHz), but not as high as a dog. Humans can hear sounds with frequencies as low as 0.02 kHz and as high as 20 kHz, while dogs can hear out to about 35 kHz.
  2. Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute is part of a study on polar bear hearing involving polar bears from SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo. Preliminary results indicate that polar bears may be specialized to communicate at low frequencies.

Eyesight

  1. The eyesight of polar bears appears to be similar to humans. Polar bears have a protective membrane over their eyes that may help shield the eyes from ultraviolet light.

Tactile

  1. Little is known about a polar bear's sense of touch; however, polar bears have been observed delicately moving or touching objects with the nose, tongue, and claws.

Polar bears have been observed moving and touching
objects with their noses, tongues, and claws.

Taste

  1. Polar bears prefer certain foods, but researchers don't know how acute the sense of taste is or how important it is in food preference.

Smell

  1. A polar bear's sense of smell is acute, and it is the most important sense for detecting prey on land. A polar bear can most likely smell a seal from more than 1 km (0.6 mi.) away and 1 m (3 ft.) under the snow.

Polar bears have an acute sense of smell.