The polar bear is a native of bear found within the Arctic Circle that encompass the Arctic Ocean at the North Pole and the adjacent land. According to the observation of many scientists, this type of animals must have evolved from the ancestors of the brown bear. Polar bears are carnivorous, meaning that they are meat-eaters.
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Their most common food includes bearded seals, ringed seals and walrus pups. As a matter of fact, these creatures are reputed to be the largest meat eating animals worldwide. And alongside the omnivorous Kodiak, they are the largest in the bear family, measuring almost the same. On average, male polar bears are estimated to weigh between 770-1,500 lb, while females range almost half the males in size.
According to Stirling and Archibald, owing to their unique body features and characteristics, polar bears have successfully adapted to living close to Northern Hemisphere’s farthest tip (127). Current, polar bears are distributed in five regions, that include: Greenland (Denmark), Norway, Canada, Russia, and Alaska in the US.
These animals are covered with heavy fur allover the body, a unique feature that enables them to survive in extremely cold temperatures. Their fur constitutes of hollow guard hairs to avoid it from matting down while swimming in waters. The color of the fur would vary from pure white to something close to a yellow hue. The white fur is beneficial to the animals, considering the fact that they normally spent most of their time on the snow hunting for their prey.
This plays a significant purpose in helping them avoid detection by their prey. This also serves as a key adaptation feature which makes the bears, and especially the cubs, less vulnerable to predator attacks (Derocher 168). However, apart from their fur being pure white, their skin is actually black and this is another distinguishing feature which enables polar bears to absorb much heat from the sun into their bodies.
The habitant for polar bears would include both the sea ice and the land. Polar bears have very large fore paws with a diameter of about 12 inches and just like any other sea creature, their toes are webbed to enable them propel rapidly through the water.
Polar bears are observed to possess poor eyesight, but their excellent ability to smell is applied to compromise their sight disadvantage, thus enabling them to survive well in their habitats (Atkinson and Stirling 231). The animals communicate with each other through sounds and body language. Other things which add up to their diet include vegetation, sea birds and their eggs and beach-cast carrion, among other food stuffs in the arctic.
However, one surprising fact with these animals is that, despite them living in water, they don’t drink water. Liquids needed for their normal body functioning is attained from what they consume as food. Normally, a female bear gives birth to two tiny cubs at a time.
The cubs are usually attached to their mother for a period of two to three years, before they become independent and start hunting for themselves. Usually, polar bears would be solitary except in some cases such as when they are mating. Another distinguishing characteristic associated with polar bears is that, they are intelligent and even curious by nature. This is evident in their habit to courageously approach and try to investigate ships and vehicles that tend to pass near them.
Polar bears would feel endangered when provoked and this can lead to possible attacks to humans who may happen to cross their way. This however, would be expected, especially with bear mothers who may tend to become aggressive in an attempt to defend her young ones. Usually, the life span of a wild polar bear is estimated to be 20 years. It may not be easy to know the exact number of polar in the world, owing to their existence in several regions.
However, according to recent information about polar bears, their population is estimated to be below 25,000 worldwide. The world count of these creatures is highly endangered and is likely to drop greatly in the near future, leading to a possible extinct of these endangered creatures.
It is observed that, the decreasing population of polar bars has been caused by a number of factors such as the loss of habitat by humans, regular climatic changes, and constant environmental pollution which has been extended to their ecosystems.
According to Derocher, these creatures are likely to face extinction by 2100, if efforts are not taken to preserve their conservation (172). The heightening issue of global issue remains to be the biggest threat of polar bears today (Derocher 243). Changes in the global temperatures are responsible for changing the creatures’ habitat, their behavior, their food, and also their life span.
As it would be observed, ice platforms are constantly melting as a result of the heightening atmospheric temperatures. In this case, the life of polar bears, ranging from feeding to breeding is highly threatened, thus indicating a possibility of real extinction of the polar bear.
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Atkinson, Shannon and Stirling, Ian. Growth in early life and relative body size among adult polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Journal of Zoology 239. 2 (2006): 225—234.
Derocher, Andrew. Polar bears in a warming climate. Integrative and Comparative Biology 44. 2 (2004): 163-176. Print.
Derocher, Andrew. Possible impacts of climatic warming on polar bears. Arctic 7. 12 (2003): 240-245. Print.
Stirling, Ian. and Archibald, Ralph. Aspects of predation of seals by polar bears. Journal of the Fisheries Board of Canada 34. 8 (1997): 126-129. Print.