POLAR BEARS UP CLOSE

Highly specialized for their environment, polar bears are the top Arctic predator, and one of the most majestic animals on earth.

MOTHERHOOD
         Being a mother in the Arctic is not an easy task however. Polar bears mate in late spring, but amazingly pregnancy is delayed so that gestation will last into the winter.

         The mother digs a maternity den in a snowdrift and soon gives birth to her cubs, often twins. Her milk is high in fat and the cubs grow very rapidly, leaving the darkness of the den in spring.

         The mother then teaches her cubs about survival—catching seals, avoiding hungry male polar bears, using their incredibly powerful sense of smell.  The mother bear will nurse them for a year and train them for 2 years before they’re out on their own.
         Once independent, young polar bears must navigate the vast and vibrant landscape of the high north.

INCREDIBLE ADAPTATIONS
Luckily they’re perfectly suited to the Arctic, having developed new traits 150,000 years ago as an isolated population of brown bears became polar bears.

Their SNOUT got longer so they could smell prey better. Polar bears have a sense of smell 100 times better than humans.
Their PAWS grew huge, for snowshoeing and swimming. Their 12-inch wide paws enable them to swim fast – 6mph and run up to 25mph – faster than we can!
Their FUR became white as camouflage.   Surprisingly, the fur has no white pigment, it is actually transparent; it is the reflection of the sun that causes the fur to appear white.
Their BODY grew bigger for protection from the cold.  Polar bears are equipped for survival with two layers of fur and four inches of fat that insulates them from cold air and water.

Download more Polar Bear Fun Facts

GET ACQUAINTED WITH OUR FURRY FRIENDS FROM THE NORTH

 

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