Polar bear body parts labeled
Polar Bears by Gail GibbonsThe polar bear is the biggest and most powerful of the animals that are able to survive the hostile climate of the Arctic. Cubs are born during the cold dark winter, even though they start out with only a thin coat of fur and weigh a little over one pound. The mothers raise and teach them so they may grow and survive in the wild. Here is information about how polar bears swim and hunt, how they keep warm and dry, and the many other ways they adapt to their environment.
Exploring Nature Science Education Resource:
The Polar Bear is an extremely large animal, with the males weighing up to 1, pounds. The females are only about pounds when they are full grown. Males can be up to 10 feet in length with the females only about 8 feet long. The body of a Polar Bear is very different from that of other types of bears. They claws of the Polar Bear are very sharp as well as designed to make it simple enough for them to walk across the snow and the ice that is plentiful in their natural habitat. The body of a Polar Bear is very long and they are detailed for specific types of movements. As you watch a Polar Bear move on land, you will notice how powerful each stride is.
On average they live to be about 25 years old, reaching sexual maturity at around 4 years. Although they appear white or yellow in color, their fur is actually clear and hollow, and their skin is black. Their visibly pale coloring is caused by the reflection and scattering of light. Inhabiting the ice and sea of the Arctic, polar bears are well-equipped for survival in a harsh environment. Hairs and bumps on the soles of their feet provide traction, while webbing between their toes allows for effective swimming strokes. Polar bears are also equipped with strong noses.
They have thick fur. Males weigh from - 1, pounds, while females are only - pounds. They eat mostly seals, making them the only pure meat eater carnivore of all the bears in North America. Females have 2 cubs in their winter den. Polar bear cubs nurse on milk for more than a year and a half.
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The polar bear's life cycle is closely tied to sea ice. Polar bears rely on the ice to travel, hunt seals, breed, and in some cases, den. Scientists believe polar bears are unlikely to survive if ice-free periods exceed their fasting ability days , especially in areas that lack alternate marine mammal prey. Polar bears are strong swimmers and divers, a characteristic that allows them to swim from one ice floe to the next. Long swims are especially dangerous to young cubs.