Polar bears are very beautiful and have their original elegance and grace. However, as we know, to meet them is not easy, if only in zoos. The fact that these predators live in the most remote areas of the Arctic and live alone.
Currently polar bears are one of the most protected animals, as for some time they were particularly popular with poachers and destroyed dozens, if not hundreds. It should also be noted that polar bears are unique indicators that help to monitor the condition of our land.
Polar bears: a General overview
If you believe the latest studies, the ancestor of white predators were brown bears. These animals are very ancient and appeared six million years ago. Unlike their ancestors, they feel great in the water and are an excellent swimmers.
These animals are one of the largest predators on earth. The habitat of polar bears – the Arctic. High adaptability to low temperatures and the ability for a long time to go without food allows them to survive in such harsh conditions. As mentioned earlier, polar bears are solitary, unlike other species of bears.
Their peculiarity consists in having a very sensitive sense of smell and hearing, allowing them to hunt seals, which are the main part of the diet of these predators.
Polar bears are divided into two dozen subpopulations, the names of which depend on the habitat of predators.
How heavy are polar bears? The weight of males varies from three hundred to six hundred pounds. Females also weigh much less than from one hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds. They live a long time. In their natural habitat from eighteen to twenty-five years, however, have been reported and individuals whose age was up to three decades. In captivity the longest lifespan of a bear made up forty-two years.
Where the polar bear lives?
Polar bears are found everywhere throughout the Arctic. They live in places where they preferred to hunt, to breed, and where it is possible to construct lairs in which they feel secure, unable to get warm and raise their young. The greater the number of individuals observed in those areas where there are populations of ringed seals.
Equally comfortable feel these animals both on land and under the surface of the ice. They can swim away more than a hundred and fifty kilometers from earth. At present, the greatest number of bears, about forty percent are in the North of Canada.
The survival of polar bears is quite high: their fat reserves and fur animal warm even in extreme cold around minus forty degrees. Interestingly, the fur of polar bears is a two-layer structure, but also helps them to endure the cold. Ears and tail are just the dimensions that contribute to the conservation of heat. Little-known facts is that animals have more difficulties associated with overheating, especially during heavy loads like running. Another advantage is considered incredibly grippy, long and thick claws help animals to hold in their paws production, the weight of which may exceed ninety pounds.
The diet of this predator as follows:
- ringed seal
- sea hare, he’s less bearded
The bear absorbs the flesh of the victim only if he is very hungry. They usually eat only the skin and fat production. With this system of feeding, the liver of the animal accumulates a huge amount of vitamin A. at A time the animal can eat about eight pounds, and in that case, if it is very hungry, to twenty.
Remains of a bear’s prey is not lost, because it goes to feed the foxes. If large prey grab failed, the bears are content with different kinds of carrion, fish, and can destroy bird nests and do not disdain eating Chicks. Sometimes on a particularly big meal, for example, if some individuals are fortunate enough to find a dead whale, some predators. Some thinkthat in the diet of a polar bear and penguins are included, but in fact penguins live not in the area where polar bears live.
In summer, the ice usually recedes or thaws at all. This situation threatens the predators of deprivation of places where they can feed themselves. Thus, polar bears are forced to go on starvation, which can take up to four months. This is the only time when too many individuals spend time together, quietly palieva on the beach, after all, compete for food is not necessary.
Human as prey, bears are considered rare although it does happen sometimes. In reality, these animals are not particularly aggressive, and the danger can only come from females with offspring, or injured animals.
The principle of hunting
In most cases, predators are waiting for the appearance of the heads of their potential victims out of the hole. After the animal emerges, trapping his bear with one blow of his huge hands to stun his victim without giving her a chance to recover, and then pulls her onto the ice.
There is another way of hunting. Its essence consists in the overturning of ice floes, on which rests the victim. Most often it is young and fragile walrus. With strong individuals in the water the bear will be not easy to handle. Sometimes the predator finds holes in the ice through which seals breathe. Then he starts to expand his blows powerful paws, and then dip half of the body under the ice, missing the sharp teeth of the prey and lifts it to the surface.
Polar bears are non-aggressive and males in rare cases may fight during mating or attacking bears.
Puberty polar bears reach to six or eight years of his life. Females Mature faster than males. The mating season falls from March to June. At this time the animals gather in groups, and the female may be surrounded by five or more males. Pregnancy lasts for eight months.
In the fall, closer to the middle, the females begin to prepare a shelter for themselves and their future offspring. Interestingly, a place to den, they choose according to a certain principle, and the choice often falls on Wrangel island and Franz Josef, where can accommodate up to two hundred dens. After the shelter is ready, the female lays dormant, extending to April and coincides with the period of embryo development. Childbirth are closer to the end of the Arctic winter.
The offspring of the female bear usually has two cubs that appear in this world absolutely helpless and very tiny. Their weight does not exceed eight hundred grams. In very rare cases, a bear can give birth to four cubs. In the first month of his life offspring fed exclusively with mother’s milk. In the second month opened his eyes, and then, a month later, begin their brief forays out of the den, and the three months the family is leaving the shelter and begins his long journey through the snowy expanses. Throughout the journey, which lasts a year and a half, the mother defends her children and feeds them with milk, and after they become independent and leave it.
The problem is that over a lifetime, the female brings a little more than a dozen cubs, on the basis that it produces offspring every three years. Consequently, the population of these animals grows very slowly. You have to take into account the fact that the mortality of kids ranging from ten to thirty percent.
- Bears are not just excellent swimmers. They are able to swim for huge distances. About reaching the most persistent bear can you find a mention in the Guinness book of records: she swam about seven hundred kilometers, while losing not only one-fifth of its weight, but and cub.
- The weight of the large bear that was found, is one thousand and two kilograms.
- Despite the fact that the habitat of polar bears is extreme in its low temperatures, the body temperature of the animal is as much as thirty-two degrees.