Friday, August 20, 2010
Polar Bears - The Key Facts & Figure
The polar bear is an endangered species of bear that lives in the far north on the polar pack ice and ranges as far afield as Canada, Denmark, Russia and Norway. It is the largest land predator alive today, with 25,000 to 40,000 roaming throughout the Arctic region. Female polar bears reach sexual maturity at roughly five years of age and their offspring are comparatively much smaller than human infants, weighing only around a pound at birth.
They usually give birth to two live young which spend the first winter months of their lives in a den dug out of a snowdrift. They emerge in the spring and within a year can grow to man-size if supplied with an abundance of food. The average male bear will grow to weigh over 1400 pounds and stand ten feet tall. The female of the species weighs in at 650 pounds and stands at a height of seven feet tall.
A fact about polar bears that you might not know is that their fur is not white, but that each hair is a colourless hollow tube which reflects sunlight during daylight hours. This serves to keep the bear warm and because the coat is oily it does not mat when wet, making it easy to shake off excess water and ice that may form after swimming.
Polar bears eat mainly seals which they hunt on the pack ice, either by waiting for them to surface at their breathing holes in the ice or by stalking them. On occasion they will hunt beneath the ice for their prey. They have slightly webbed front feet to assist them with forward motion in the water, while they steer with their powerful back legs.
Their only predator is man. Men are starting to mine in the arctic for oil and coal, encroaching on their natural habitat, making food more difficult to find.
Find out more about polar bears or adopt a polar bear online.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Charles_Cridland