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Polar Bears
Ursus Maritimus


Polar bears live year round near arctic waters hunting seal and other animals, rarely coming on land except on islands and rocky points. In winter they hunt along the Arctic shelfs looking for tasty seals, fish, and even humans! Their white coats provide camouflage in the ice and snow which make them almost invisible as they stalk their prey.

In winter, when they are far from land they search for breathing holes made by seals. When the seal comes up for air, the polar bear will kill it and flip it out of the water with a single blow of its great clawed paw! Polar bears are very dangerous, and grow to a huge size and weigh as much as small automobile (1000 pounds). They have longer legs than other bears and large furry feet. These big feet help to distribute their weight as they walk on thin ice in the arctic waters. Polar bears are strong swimmers and can stay submerged for two minutes at a time. Their fur is made of hollow hairs which trap air and help to insulate them in the frigid waters.

In November polar bears retire to dens dug out of the snow or permafrost. The females remain until the spring when they emerge with one or two cubs who stay with them for the next year and a half. The males spend a shorter time in the dens and may be seen out and about at any time of the year.
Polar Bear Photo1 William Fitzhugh / Polar Bear Photo2 Corel





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