These are youngish males -- probably 5 YO or so - just messing around and having a bit of fun while waiting for the ice to freeze on Hudson Bay. Not too much different to a couple of human boys of that age -- nothing much to do -- ya wanna wrestle? Only do this when the temp is pretty low -- maybe -10C or lower -- because that great fur overcoat they wear causes them to overheat pretty quickly. So they wack at one another or wrestle like this for 15 seconds or so -- and then lay down in the snow and cool off for a minute or two -- then have another round -- can go on for hours and sometimes even days. Rarely does one get hurt -- and then only a little love bite or scratch. This is all in fun -- but could be for real once they are on the ice fighting for a kill -- or maybe even more importantly -- fighting for a female.
Cheers, Andrew www.onemanspolarbear.com www.tecshots.com www.tecshots.com/blog www.facebook.com/tecshots
Hey Don -- that these guys will spar for days and days at a time kind of dispels the common knowledge that they are running on empty at this time of the year. But big males always manage to get enough food out on the ice and are less compromised by the shortened freeze due to global warming. Probably the biggest negative impact is on the females -- they are throwing fewer cubs and not able to consistently bring as many up to weening, which is generally at about 2 1/2 YO. When the supply of seal runs out, her milk supply runs out. So you see fewer mothers with two cubs at 1 or 2 years of age. And that is not a good thing. Cheers, Andrew