Structural Adaptions Polar bears have many special structural adaptions such as creamy white fur to help provide camouflage. Thick fur protects polar bears from the cold and the thick outer layer has a special guard that helps shed water easily.
The fat under the fur not only keeps them warm but, polar bears can go weeks without eating if necessary due to the blubber of fat that is stored. • Polar bears shed their winter fur for a yellow or golden summer coat that is thinner. • Polar bears have webbed front paws that are larger then their back to help them swim better.
Behavioral Adaptations • One behavioral adaptation of the Polar bears is that a polar bear can swim for up to 60 miles without stopping and have been seen up to 100 miles off shore in the summer. This is important because it helps them to hunt for food. • The second behavioral adaptation of the Polar bears is that during the months of October and early November, female polar bears dig dens in snow drifts, cubs are born in these dens. This is of importance to protect them from the cold and their cubs from predators. • When not hunting, polar bears are often sleeping or resting this helps them conserve valuable energy during the cold winter . • The forth adaptation of the polar bear is that it
Habitat • The polar bear lives in extreme cold weather conditions. • They are found around the North Pole. They also have their habitat in Tundra, Greenland and towards north side of North America, Europe and Asia. • Polar Bears are an endangered animal, as there are only around 20,000 - 25,000 polar bears existing worldwide. Those managing to survive today are seen with reduced body weights and high cub moralities. The fall in polar bear numbers can be attributed to the loss of sea ice (they mostly inhabit the sea ice and not the land ice) due to its rapid thinning and melting. • On May 14th, 2008, polar bears were declared a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This happened because of global warming and other threats, such as pollution, and poaching . • Between the 1960 and 1990, 32% of the Arctic sea ice has thinned. Just imagine if the earth was shrinking suddenly, at alarming rates, where would you stand? Imagine your extinction and it will be easier to stop theirs.
Diet • A polar bear is a carnivore and typically eats the ringed and bearded seals. • A polar bear also eats, many other wild food like rodents, shellfish, crabs, reindeer, muskox, birds, eggs, and even other polar bears. They are also found to eat plant material like berries, roots, and seaweeds. However, the major chunk of their food consists of fat and meat of marine mammals like seals. • Adult polar bears eat the seal's skin and the fatty layer beneath the skin, which is known as blubber. • Apart from seals, polar bears also prey on adult walruses and beluga whales
Cool Facts Fact 1: Polar bears and penguins do not live in the same place. No way, you say. You've seen them depicted together a million times! But consider this: It was always a cartoon or an illustration, never a photograph, right? That's because, in real life, the two species dwell at opposite ends of the earth: Polar bears live in the Arctic and penguins hang out in the Antarctic. Fact 2: Polar bears are so well insulated that they're nearly invisible — even to infrared cameras. • Scientists realized this while trying to do aerial population surveys, because they found that the white bears were hard to make out against snow, so they tried heat-sensing infrared. But since so little heat escapes from their bodies through blubber and fur, the only features that showed up were their eyes and noses. Fact : The indigenous peoples of the Arctic hunt the polar bear, but there's one part you should never eat: the liver. • There's so much vitamin A concentrated in a polar bear's liver that it can make humans seriously ill, producing symptoms like headache, nausea, peeling skin and blurred vision.
Resources • A New True Book Polar Bears By Emilie U. Lepthien