The World of Polar Bears

Introduction

The World of Polar Bears
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a carnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is ...
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Scientific Classification

The World of Polar Bears
A. Order – Carnivora The scientific order Carnivora includes bears, dogs, cats, raccoons, otters, weasels, and their relatives. All typical carnivores have well developed claws and a pair of spe ...
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Habitat und Distribution

The World of Polar Bears
A. Distribution Polar bears are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic. Polar bears, or their tracks, have been reported almost as far north as the pole; however, scientists believe few bears frequen ...
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Physical Characteristics

The World of Polar Bears
A. Size Polar bears are the largest land carnivore. Male polar bears (boars) grow two to three times the size of female polar bears (sows). Boars weigh about 350 to more than 650 kg (772-1,433 lb.) an ...
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Senses

The World of Polar Bears
A. Hearing A polar bear’s hearing is probably as sensitive as human hearing. Humans can hear sounds with frequencies as low as 0.02 kHz and as high as 20 kHz. B. Eyesight The eyesight of polar b ...
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Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment

The World of Polar Bears
A. Swimming Polar bears are strong swimmers; they swim across bays or wide leads without hesitation. They can swim for several hours at a time over long distances. They’ve been tracked swimming ...
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Behavior

The World of Polar Bears
A. Daily activity cycle Polar bears are most active the first third of the day and least active the final third of the day. In the Canadian Arctic, adult female polar bears with cubs hunt about 19% of ...
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Diet and Eating Habits

The World of Polar Bears
A. Food preferences and resources Polar bears feed mainly on ringed seals and bearded seals. Depending upon their location, they also eat harp and hooded seals and scavenge on carcasses of beluga whal ...
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Reproduction

The World of Polar Bears
A. Sexual maturity Female polar bears reach sexual maturity at about 4 years (Stirling, 1988). Male polar bears reach sexual maturity at about 6 years (Stirling, 1988). Most male polar bears don’ ...
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Birth and Care of Young

The World of Polar Bears
A. Gestation The total gestation period is about eight months. Gestation includes a period of delayed implantation. a. The fertilized egg divides into a hollow ball of cells one layer thick (a blastoc ...
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