Occasional news related to my natural science illustrations
In silver: Polar Bear leaps from one ice floe to another
$50 for $50 Fine Silver Coin – Polar Bear (2014) illustrated by Emily S. Damstra
First in a new series of $50 coins is this recent release by the Royal Canadian Mint; a polar bear leaping from one ice floe to another. I worked on this design last year. Apologies for the inadequate photograph; it is difficult to photograph shiny coins, especially when they are encased in acrylic! You can see the Mint’s image of the coin here.
Made buoyant and kept warm by their body fat, polar bears are accomplished swimmers. They have been seen swimming several hundred kilometers from land.
Despite their ease moving through the water, polar bears often avoid taking a comparatively short swim by walking a longer distance across ice floes. Sometimes they leap from one ice floe to another rather than get wet. The reasons for this behaviour are not known, but it is possible that the bears use less energy by walking and jumping than they do by entering the cold water and then rolling in the snow to dry off.