We recorded the nursing vocalization of a wild polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cub in Svalbard, Norway and describe it with the term humming. From a 3-minute recording of the vocalization, we found the sounds composed of between 30–55 pulses with a mean of 0.05 (SE = 0.002) seconds in duration, a frequency with the greatest energy at 0.28 kHz (SE = 0.06), and a mean maximum frequency of 0.85 kHz (SE = 0.15). The function of the pulsed vocalization is unknown but may relate to comfort and contentment or to stimulate milk release by the mother.
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Vol. 21 • No. 2