Overview of the Polar Bear
The largest of the bears, the polar bear is also the
world’s largest land carnivore. An adult male can weigh
up to 1,500 pounds, although the largest confirmed weight
was 2,210 pounds. Polar bears live in the icy Arctic,
on ice floes (large chunks of ice that float in the
ocean). They roam the Arctic in search of food, particularly
Polar bears swim extremely well, using their large
front paws to propel themselves through the water. Thick
fur keeps them warm, and they are capable of swimming
both under the ice and in the open ocean. They can swim
up to 25 miles in search of food.
Polar bears are protected from the icy conditions of
the Arctic by a thick layer of fat called blubber. The
blubber on a polar bear is nearly 4 inches thick. They
also have a dense waterproof coat of fur, composed of
hollow hair that trap heat. The fur, which is a white
color, acts as camouflage in the snow. However, the
white coat usually yellows with age.
The polar bear has a great sense of smell, able to
detect seals nearly 1 mile away. It has almost no natural
predators. The greatest threat to polar bears is climate
change. Some believe that if climatic trends continue,
polar bears will be wiped out. The polar bear is considered
a threatened species.
The polar bear mates between April and May. The cubs
are born between 7 and 10 months later, between November
and February. The cubs are born blind, and often weigh
less than 2 pounds. Each litter usually has two cubs.
Female polar bears are known for their affection towards
their offspring, and valiance in protecting them. Male
polar bears, on the other hand, occasionally kill and
eat polar bear cubs, for unclear reasons. In Alaska,
42% of cubs reach 12 months of age, while 15 years ago,
65% did. Cubs are weaned when they reach the age of
two and a half years old, when the mother abandons them
or chases them away.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net