Polar Bear

Polar bear
POLAR BEAR (Ursus maritimus)
Pronounced: Er-sus mayr-i-time-us Order: Carnivora
Kingdom: Animalia Family: Ursidae
Phylum: Chordata Genus: Ursus
Class: Mammalia Species: Maritimus


Don’t let their adorable look confuse you. Polar Bears are one of the largest and most powerful carnivores on land. They catch their favourite prey, seals, with ease. Their excellent swimming ability and strong, sharp claws help them when hunting. They have no natural predators and are perfectly adapted to a life in the arctic. Humans kill them for food, fur and because they pose a danger near their settlements. The biggest threat to Polar Bear survival is global warming, which is reducing the amount of pack ice, where these bears must go in search of food.Polar Bears have black skin underneath their white fur. The black skin absorbs sunlight, right through their fur and helps to keep them warm. They also have very insulating fur, thick layers of fat, and pads on their feet that provide traction on the icy ground.

Mothers have 1 – 4, but usually 2, babies every 2 – 4 years. They nurse for up to 2 years and remain with their mothers for a few years after that. Other than that, Polar Bears are usually solitary in the wild, except when mating. Another reason for their endangered status is their long life cycles. They don’t have very many offspring, so their numbers are low anyway, and with the added pressures of climate change, their numbers are dwindling faster than they can be replaced.

A male Polar Bear can grow up to 720 kg (1600 pounds), over 1.6 m (5 feet) tall and 2.5 metres long. Females are generally quite a bit smaller.


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