The polar bear is one of eight bear species. its Latin name is Ursus pursues maritimus,which means “sea bear”.
The polar bear is the
Youngest of the eighth bear species . Scientists believe that the polar bear evolved about 200,000 years ago from brown bear ancestors .
Polar bear are the world’s largest land predators. They top the food chain in the arctic, where they dine primarily on seals.
The polar bear’s main prey is the ringed seal. The ringed seal is the most numerous seal in the arctic.
Adult male polar bears weigh from 775 to 1,500 pounds. Females are considerably smaller, normally weighing 300 to 550 pounds.
Adult male polar bears measure 6 ½ feet to 10 feet long, excluding the tail. Females measure 5 to 8 feet long, excluding the tail.
Polar bears range throughout the artic in areas where they can hunt seals at open leads. The 5 “polar bear nations” where the ice bears are found include the U.S (Alaska) Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway.
Polar bears are superbly adapted for survival in the far north. They are well-insulated against the cold, and they are powerful enough to hunt seals successfully.
Polar bears have a superb sense of smell. They also have excellent hearing and eyesight. These heightened senses are necessary for survival in the changing conditions of the arctic.
Scientists estimate that there are roughly 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears throughout the arctic.
Polar bears are champion swimmers. They have been known to swim more that 60 miles without rest.
Polar bears’ forepaws are partially webbed to assist in swimming. The massive size of the forepaws measures up to 12’ in diameter.
The polar bear’s fat layer , which is 3 to 4.5 inches thick, not only protects it from the cold but adds to its buoyancy in the water.
The polar bear’s compact ears and small tail help prevent heat loss. When curled up in a ball, they often cover their muzzles to reduce heat loss as well.