This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Nuts and Bolts: the language of the arctic.

What do polar bears sing on holidays?

Freeze a jolly good fellow...

Okay, okay, sorry, not really. Well, what with the body language, the chuffs and the scent markings they don't have to.

photo taken by Ansgar Walk, CC BY 2.5,

For instance, if a polar bear wants to play with you it might wag its head from side to side, or it might stand up, paws by its sides and chin lowered onto its chest. (Mind you, 'playing' usually involves a mock battle, so I wouldn't hang around in the hope of a nice quiet game of monopoly. And if it does want to play monopoly, I'd let it win.)

If a polar bear calls hoping for a meal, he will approach slowly, circle around the food, and then do a gentle nose-to-nose kiss. How spookily human is that?

Polar bears chuff when they're worried; hiss and snort and lower the head as a threat; roar when angry; and growl in warning, which, when you come to think about it, is all pretty human, too.

If a polar bear wants to avoid annoying a larger bear, he will always stay down-wind of him. 

This is not very human behaviour, though I can't help feeling it should be.

Lastly, no one is quite sure about this, yet, but it's thought that bears might attract their mates by leaving a trail of scent. In the bears' case the scent is caused by their smelly feet. 

But, hey, the principle is human enough, isn't it?

Word To Use Today: arctic. This word comes from the Latin arcticus, from the Greek arktikos, northern (literally: of the [constellation of the] bear, from arktos, bear).

No comments:

Post a Comment