Polar bears

Polar Bear, Mother, Cubs, White, Arctic

It is the largest land predator alive today, with 25,000 to 40,000 roaming through the Arctic region. Female polar bears reach sexual maturity at roughly five years old and their offspring are comparatively much smaller than human babies, weighing just around a pound at birth.

They usually give birth to two live young which spend the first winter months of their lives in a den dug out of a snowdrift. They appear in the spring and within a year can grow to man-size if provided with an abundance of food. The typical male bear will grow to weigh over 1400 lbs and stand ten feet tall. The female of the species weighs in at 650 pounds and stands at a height of seven feet tall.

A fact about polar bears which you might not know is that their fur is not white, but that every hair is a colourless hollow tube which reflects sunlight during daylight hours. This serves to maintain the bear warm and since the coat is oily it does not mat when wet, making it easy to shake off excess water and ice that may form after swimming.

Polar bears eat mostly seals which they hunt on the pack ice, either by waiting for them to surface at their breathing holes in the ice or by stalking them. On occasion they’ll hunt beneath the ice for their prey. They have slightly webbed front feet to aid them with forward motion in the water, while they steer with their strong back legs.

Their sole predator is man. Men have started to mine in the arctic for oil and coal, encroaching on their natural habitat, which makes food more difficult to find.

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