Polar bear

Polar bear

Polar bears live in the Arctic Circle. They are large bears, males weights around 350-700kg, and 2-3 m in length, females are 50% smaller. Polar bears evolved for life in these tough conditions. They can endure extremely low temperatures and long periods without food. Every polar bear is born on the land, but they spend most of their time at the sea. That’s why their name means maritime bear. The main source of food are seals. They are experts in hunting adult and young seals. Their hunting method is called still-hunting. When they locate a seal’s breathing hole, they crouch and wait. Usually they wait several hours. When seal appears, bear can smell its breath, reaches into the hole with a forepaw and drag the seal out. Although it looks easy, success rate is very small, only 1 of 10 seals are caught like this.

Polar bears aren’t aggressive animals, and there are only a few records of their attack on humans. But, hungry polar bear is unproductive and in some cases responsible for entering into human settlements.

The mating of polar bears starts in April and May. It is known that males can follow breeding female more than 90km. Usually 2-3 males follow a single female, which leads to serious fights! Beside this, female bears are mating with several different males. They have a polygynous mating system. After the matting, fertilized eggs stay in a suspended state four months. During that time, the female eats huge amounts of food, gaining 200kg of weight! Cubs are born between November and February. They stay in the maternity den by mid-April, when they go out. After 10 days near the maternity den, they start the long journey to the sea ice, where mother can catch seals.

 

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