Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

The polar bear lives in the icy regions of the far north. They live in the dry and frozen tundra located in the northern regions of Canada, Russia, and Greenland. They spend a lot of their time on ice and prefer to stay the whole year if possible. When feeding they sit on ice for hours, waiting at air holes used by seals in order to snatch up their prey when it comes to breathe. Polar bears are even able to swim for certain periods of time. When there are young polar bears will make a den or cave in the ice and snow in order to block out winds and precipitation.

Polar bear's skin is actually black, with thick clear fur, not white, coating their entire bodies. This allows for greater absorption of heat from the sun which allows polar bears to live in such extreme temperatures. Their tough skin and large amount of blubber also help to insulate the bears and keep out the cold. Their long claws help them to catch seals and pull them out of the water when they are hunting. Polar bears are also active all year round, this lack of hibernation gives the bear more time to feed.

At the age of three, polar bears are usually ready to start making a family of their own. Polar bears are polygamous and usually mate between the spring. The cubs are born in the early winter months. One to four cubs will be born about every three years. The cubs will stay with their mother for about a year and a half where they will learn where to wait for seals, how to smell for prey and what to hunt as well as fighting techniques. They will learn these skills from interactions with each other and watching the movement of their mother.

Polar bears are known as the most carnivorous of all the bears in North America. They feed mainly on seals, as they need the fat from seals for sufficient energy. They will also eat birds, small mammals, fish and dead animals. A bear will generally eat every three to four days however a bear can go up to two weeks without feeding if food is scarce. Polar bears do not have much competition with other tundra predators due to their size. They compete with wolves and perhaps arctic foxes for small mammals as a food source however their main food source of seals goes unchallenged by any other land predator. Humans pose a large threat to bears, as pollution increases such as gas emissions, the ices that polar bears live on are heating up, this means that their hunting grounds are shrinking. Also people kill polar bears for sport, or out of fear for their lives or the lives of their livestock. Hunting has also increased as bears are starting to move farther south into inhabited territories in search of food.

Body Length 3.05 metres
Tail Length N/A
Wingspan N/A
Life Span 25.00 years
Weight 907.18 kilograms