Polar bears roam the Arctic ice sheets and swim in that region’s coastal waters. They are very strong swimmers, and their large front paws, which they use to paddle, are slightly webbed. Some polar bears have been seen swimming hundreds of miles from land—though they probably cover most of that distance by floating on sheets of ice.
Polar bears live in one of the planet’s coldest environments and depend on a thick coat of insulated fur, which covers a warming layer of fat. Fur even grows on the bottom of their paws, which protects against cold surfaces and provides a good grip on ice. The bear’s stark white coat provides camouflage in surrounding snow and ice. But under their fur, polar bears have black skin—the better to soak in the sun’s warming rays.
Polar bears are attractive and appealing, but they are powerful predators that do not typically fear humans, which can make them dangerous. Near human settlements, they often acquire a taste for garbage, bringing bears and humans into perilous proximity.
- The polar bears den! (sunsetdaily.wordpress.com)
- ‘Polar bears could be extinct in 25 years’ (thehindu.com)
- Species of the Day – Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) (natureology101.wordpress.com)
- What do polar bears eat and how is their food threatened? (mnn.com)
- Polar Bears, a Report by My Son (mychemicalfawn.wordpress.com)
- ‘Polar bears could be extinct in 25 years’ (vancouverdesi.com)
- Canada must explain polar bear policies to NAFTA group (cbc.ca)