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About Bears

Polar Bear

Polar Bears are carnivores.

Polar Bear Classification:

Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: Maritimus

Other Names: Ice Bear, Nanook, Sea Bear, White Bear, Walking Bear, Nanuk, Isbjorn, Lord of the Arctic. Old man in the Fur Cloak, and White Sea Deer

Size: Male polar bears weigh from between 7701,500 lbs., while female polar bears are usually half that weight. Polar bears are 8-10 feet tall.

Habitat: Polar bears are native to the Arctic Circle. Polar bears live along the cold Arctic shores and on sea ice. Polar bears are currently found in Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway.

Diet: Polar bears are the world's largest land carnivore. Polar bears primarily eat seals and fish. When seals are not plentiful polar bears may settle for other sources of food that can include: reindeer, small rodents, waterfowl, shellfish, fish, eggs, kelp, berries and even human garbage. Occasionally, polar bears will hunt beluga whales and adult walrus. Polar bears tend to swallow large chunks of food rather than chewing. Polar bears have adapted to their environment and do not require a fresh water source, they are able to get water from the prey they eat.

Senses: Polar bears have an amazing sense of smell. They can detect a carcass from nearly 20 miles away using their sense of smell. Polar bears have keen eyesight and hearing.

Social Structure: Polar bears are social creatures, except when mating.Two male polar bears may fight over a female polar bear.

Did You Know?

The polar bear's scientific name means "maritime bear".

Description: Polar bears have a thick fur coat with tow layers, there is a thick undercoat that is topped by guard hairs. The fur consists of transparent hollow hair that reflects the UV light from the sun. The polar bear has black skin, which absorbs the heat from the sun. The hollow fur gives the appearance of being white, which acts to camouflage the bear in the snow. A polar bear's fur is oily and water repellent. Polar bears have a thick layer of blubber. The blubber provides buoyancy in the water and insulation to maintain the bears body temperature. Polar bears have big paws that measure up to 12 inches across, the paws are slightly webbed to assist with their swimming. The paw pads have a rough surface that prevents the polar bear from slipping on the ice. The polar bear has sharp, thick and curved claws, that measure more than two inches in length. Polar bears have long tapered bodies, with a long snout.

Gestation: A polar bear carries its young for approximately 8 months, unlike many other mammals there is a delayed implantation of the embryo during the gestation period.

Cubs: Polar bear cubs will stay with their mother for up to 2-2.5 years.

Sexual Maturity: Female polar bears mature from between the ages of 4-5. Male polar bears do not sexually reproduce until 5-6 years of age. The mating pair will typically stay together for about a week.

Birth: Polar bears give birth to one to three cubs. The newborn polar bears weigh approximately 1 lb at birth. The newborn cubs are 12-14 inches in length.

Did You Know?

Polar bears are strong swimmers and can stay submerged for two minutes at a time.

Athleticism: Polar bears swim using their large front paws to propel themselves through the water and their back legs to steer. Polar bears have been known to swim 100 miles at a time. Polar bears can swim an average of 6 mph.

Behavior: Pregnant polar bears make dens in earth and snowbanks, where they'll stay through the winter. Pregnant polar bears may live off fat reserves for up to 9 months.

Life Span: The average life span of the polar bear is 20 - 30 years. Eight of the nineteen polar bear sub-populations are decline. Humans are the only predator of the polar bear, however the biggest threat to polar bears is their declining habitat.

 


Polar Bear in Ice
Polar Bear

Conservation Classification: Vulnerable / Threatened Species

There are approximately 20-25,000 polar bears worldwide.

Polar Bear Mother and Cub

Sleeping Polar Bear

Polar Bear Cub

Polar Bear Cubs

Polar Bear Photo

Polar Bear Picture

Polar Bear Footprint

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