POLAR BEARS 11232008


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POLAR BEARS 11232008

  1. 1. POLAR BEARS By Jonathan Papa
  2. 2. Chapter 1:CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION <ul><li>The polar bear is in the Ursidae (bear family). It’s species is Maritimus (meaning sea bear). The polar bear usually travels alone. If it is in a group it is with it’s mom or dad. The polar bear is the only bear considered to be a marine mammal. </li></ul><ul><li>Polar bears have white fur. They are completely covered with fur except for the nose and foot pads which are black. Male polar bears grow up to 6 feet tall and up to 10 feet in length. They weigh up to 1,400 lbs. Females however are much smaller than male polar bears. They are up to 5 feet tall, weigh up to 650 lbs and are up to 7 feet in length. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Polar bears have special characteristics that make them different than other types of bears. Polar bears have excellent hearing. Their small ears are set low and close to their head. Unlike teeth in other bear species that eat plants, polar bears’ teeth have jagged edges so they can rip chunks of meat. Polar bears’ vision is similar to humans. Scientists say polar bears do not see color as well as humans. Polar bears have water repellent fur. The fur doesn’t mat when wet, allowing the polar bears to easily shake free of water and any ice that may form after swimming. Their paws spread out when they step to act like snowshoes to help them walk over snow and ice. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Chapter 2: HABITAT <ul><li>Polar bears are found throughout the Circumpolar Artic on pack ice, along or near coasts and on islands. Polar bears live in extreme cold weather conditions. The temperature on land is -60 degrees F to 25 F. In water a polar bear is usually warm because of it’s fur temperature. The polar bear lives in the Artic Circle, Canada, Norway, Alaska, Russia and Greenland. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Chapter 3 - HABITS <ul><li>Polar bears enjoy having the flesh of seals, fish and seabirds. It catches it’s food by using its sharp jaws in the water to get animals. Apart from naps, most polar bears sleep for seven-eight hours at a stretch, about the same as humans do. Polar bears sleep in shallow pits in the snow with their backs or sides to the wind. They sleep more during the day than at night because seals, their main food, are more active at night. </li></ul><ul><li>The polar bear adapts to it’s environment by having a thick layer of blubber that keeps it warm while swimming in the cold water. Polar bears swim for days at a time and swim as deep as 17 feet. They also have thick curved nonretractable claws which they use for grasping prey and for traction when running on the ice. </li></ul><ul><li>Polar bears completely shed and replace their fur annually in May or June for the warmer months. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Chapter 4: REPRODUCTION <ul><li>The total gestation period for a polar bear is about 8 months. Females need to gain at least 440 lbs. for a successful pregnancy. They enter dens in late October to have a place to give birth to the newborn cubs that will be safe. Cubs are born in November through January. Most adult female polar bears give birth once every three years. The most frequent litter size is two, followed by litters of one. Litters of three are less common than twins or singles. </li></ul><ul><li>A male polar bear is called a Boar. A female is called a Sow. A baby is called a Cub. A polar bear’s average life span is 25 to 30 years. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Chapter 5: ENEMIES <ul><li>Humans are the only enemy of the polar bear. People are it’s enemy because they kill polar bears for food and mainly for their fur and skins. Newborn cubs may be eaten by malnourished mothers or adult male polar bears. </li></ul><ul><li>This animal is endangered because people are extracting oil form the ocean they swim in. Oil spills from the drilling platforms contaminate the water and the polar bears’ food sources. It is against the law to hurt these animals and make the ocean unswimmable. </li></ul>
  8. 8. PROTECTION LAWS <ul><li>Strong endangered species laws and protected areas are two critical tools to protect the polar bears. Hunting is government regulated in Greenland and the United States. Hunting is banned in Norway and parts of Russia. </li></ul><ul><li>The International Agreement on Conservation of Polar Bears and Their Habitat of 1973, The United States Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, The Endangered Species Act and the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora are all acts to protect polar bears and their habitats. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Chapter 6: RAZZLE DAZZLE <ul><li>To keep warm, a polar bear has two types of fur, a top layer and an under layer. </li></ul><ul><li>The polar bear shakes off like a dog to get dry from the water. </li></ul><ul><li>Polar bears warm up to 98 degrees F when they are resting. </li></ul><ul><li>Cubs open their eyes within their first month. </li></ul><ul><li>On average, the chamber den, where a polar bear cub is born, is 6.6 feet long, 4.9 feet wide and 3.3 feet high. </li></ul><ul><li>A polar bear’s skin is black. </li></ul>
  10. 10. BIBLIOGRAPHY <ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Polar Bears-The Untamed World by Don Middleton </li></ul><ul><li>Polar Bears by Lesley A. DuTemple </li></ul><ul><li>The Polar Bear, Wildlife of North America by Annie Hemstock </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>www.ask.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.seaworld.org/infobooks/PolarBears </li></ul><ul><li>www.PolarBearsInternational.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.animals.nationalgeographic.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.wildlifeforever.org </li></ul>