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Do Bears Have Belly Buttons? (Simply Explained)

A belly button, also known as the navel, is a place where the umbilical cord was once attached. This soft tube once carried vitamins and minerals from the mother to the baby while it was still in her womb. 

Because bears are mammals, just like us, their cub will be born with an umbilical cord. While humans tie the umbilical cord, bears do not have such capabilities.

According to several zoo observations, this umbilical cord is short and may disappear within a few hours (probably gets eaten), resulting in a belly button. 

Once the umbilical cord falls off, the newborn cub will have a belly button scar that will slowly fade away and get covered in fur. 

Bears are placental mammals, which means that all newborn bears will have a belly button, including black bears, brown (grizzly, Kodiak) bears, and polar bears.

Bear cubs are born completely helpless  – they are blind, have no hair, and are fully dependent on their mothers. It will take about 4 weeks for them to open their eyes.

Occasionally, Cubs Might Be Born With Belly Button Issues

polar bear with a cub

The navel of a newborn cub is basically a hollow tube that leads directly into the abdominal cavity and liver of the animal.

Sometimes, it might remain wet for a couple of days after birth; this makes it easy for bacteria like Escherichia coli to enter the body and cause different problems. 

An umbilical hernia is another issue bear cubs might have problems with. It is a condition where the fatty tissue or a part of the bowels bulge forward through the area near the navel.

A group of veterinarians at the Houston zoo had such a situation with a pair of Kodiak bear cubs.

8 years after they captured a pair of Kodiak bears on Kodiak Island, a female gave birth to a boy and a girl. Although twins are not unusual among bear species, a male was born two days after the female came into being, which is not common.

At birth, both animals had umbilical hernias. For the first several weeks, these abnormalities were very pronounced and veterinarians were even considering corrective surgery. Luckily, by the eighth week, the issue had almost disappeared and the surgery was no longer needed.

Read More: Does A Bear Have Eyebrows On Its Face?

What About Other Animals?

If you are curious about the bear’s belly button, you might be also curious about the other animals too. All placental animals, just like bears have belly buttons. Those animals include cats, dogs, camels, llamas, whales, elephants, and many others.

On the other hand, some mammals like platypuses and marsupials do not have belly buttons. They lay eggs, so there is no umbilical cord. Without an umbilical cord, a belly button won’t be created.

bear ribbon

How Do Bears Give Birth?

Want to see what the process of a bear giving birth looks like? Check this video.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our article examining the question: do bears have belly buttons?

Although it might seem silly to think of a belly button existing on a bear, bears do have belly buttons. 

All 8 species of bears will give birth to cubs that were connected to their mother via an umbilical cord. This tube moves nutrients and oxygen to the offspring and removes its waste. 

Usually, the umbilical cord will dry out and fall off, sometimes a mother might bite it off, which will leave a scar on the cub’s body. This scar is known as the navel or a belly button.

Read more: Does A Bear Have A Foul Smell?

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