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.
Polar Bears 101 - Nat Geo Wild
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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. Arctic weather can be fiercely cold.
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. This helps them survive the cold. More than half of all cubs die in their first year.
Polar Bear Anatomy. The Polar Bear is an extremely large animal, with the males weighing up to pounds and anatomy fully adapted to cold weather.
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More Polar Bears 101 Facts
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 use their powerful sense of smell when hunting for seals, their main source of food.