Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus)
Polar Bear Foot Prints
Polar bears live only in the northern Arctic where they spend most of their time on ice floes. They are the largest land meat-eater in the world and the largest of the bear family. They are well suited to the cold Arctic ice and snow.
Characteristics and Physical Features of the Polar Bear
Height: Average adult male 8.5 ft. (2.6 m)
Distinguishing Characteristics: The polar bear has many unique adaptations for dealing with the Arctic cold. The polar bear's skin is actually black, which allows it to soak up as much heat as possible from the sun. They are also great swimmers and will swim from ice floe to ice floe. They have been seen swimming 50 miles away from any ice or land.
Breeding: Sexually mature at 4-8 years. Breed polygamously, April through June, with 1-3 cubs every 28 months. Pregnant females dig a den in October through December where cubs are born December to January and stay until March or April. Lactation lasts 28 months. May live 25-30 years.
Range: They spend their entire life associated with pack ice. Females may prefer ice along the shoreline while others prefer moving sea ice at the floe edge -usually within 180 miles of shore.
Diet: Eats mostly ringed and bearded seals. They will occasionally eat other mammals, eggs, vegetation and beach-cast carrion. Polar bears don't drink water. They get all the liquids that they need from the animals that they eat.
Can a polar bear be different colors?
Polar bears have fur that is made up of "hollow guard hairs." Sometimes when polar bears live in zoos that are in a warmer climate, they can have algae growing inside the hollow guard hairs of their fur. This makes them have a greenish tint to their fur. These hollow hairs also keep their hair from matting down when they swim in water.
Do polar bears stay in groups?
Do polar bears hibernate?
Pregnant females den up for winter but do not hibernate. All polar bears may den temporarily to avoid bad weather.
How do polar bears swim?
They dog-paddle with their head and much of their back above water. Their blubber helps to float them as they swim. They can swim at an average of 6 miles per hour.
How do polar bears catch seals when they live under the ice?
Polar bears find a seal air hole and sneak up on it slowly and sit there until a seal comes up to breathe and then they scoop him right out of the hole.
How do the native arctic people benefit from the polar bear?
Polar bear hide is very useful it can be used as clothing, rugs, and blankets. The hollow guard hairs of the polar bear fur can be sold for fly tying. Polar bear meat can also be eaten.
Written by Caleb