The polar bears are the largest bear of all. This bear is only found in the Arctic. This bear also eats almost only meat because there are few or no plants at the North Pole. This polar bear is a young species and has existed for less than 200,000 years. The polar bear is believed to be descended from the brown bear.
The white polar bear is already descended from 57 million years ago. The species we know is not very old, about 200,000 years ago. These ‘bears’ used to be much smaller. Now there are outliers of more than 900 kg. But the average polar bear weighs approximately 700 to 800 kg.
They have also become very ‘small’. The average polar bear measures about 2.8 meters, it used to be well over 3 meters. Polar bears have excellent eyesight, which is a must. The polar bears mainly hunt for food at night. A polar bear also has an extra protective layer on the eyes. To protect the eyes from the arctic climate and the icy wind, so that the eyes do not freeze.
Temperatures in the North Pole can easily drop below -30. A polar bear’s sense of smell is also incorrigible. What polar bears often do when they smell is stand their 2 hind legs upright, the polar bear can smell up to 32 km away. Another characteristic that is well-developed in the polar bear is hearing, at least better than in humans. The polar bear has an advantage in the taste of food because it likes rotten meat just as much as meat that has not spoiled.
The polar bears usually mate between March and June when they are in heat. A polar bear’s gestation lasts a very long time, between 200 and 250 days. This is because the gestation period is extended. A fertilized polar bear spends much of the winter in a den.
Here the polar bear hibernates until March or April, in the meantime, the cubs have already been born, and can then go exploring. The young feed on the mother’s fat and calorie-rich milk feed. Only the female takes care of the cubs, as the male polar bear would be able to kill the cubs.
The young are suckled for 1 to 3 months, and after about 24 to 28 months the young become independent. Here most of the young separate from their mother. After 5 years the young are adults. Polar bears live to be 21 years old on average, although there are polar bears that live to be over 40 years old.
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A famous hunting technique of the polar bear is that it first looks for holes in the ice, where it remains motionless and alert. At the slightest movement, he lashes out and usually has a fish on the hook, the polar bear is very quick to react. Polar bears have even been known to pull seals out of the water.
The polar bear is extremely strong and can easily pull an animal weighing 70 to 90 kg out of the water with relatively little effort. The claws of a polar bear usually damage the ‘sea seal’ emerging from the water so badly that it is no longer able to move or struggle.
The polar bear is also a real carnivore, there are hardly any plants at the North Pole. He prefers to eat seals, seals, fish, and other animals or fish that he gets hold of. If the polar bear has caught a seal, it knocks the beast unconscious with a huge blow, if the animal is still moving, it deals the death blow. Of the seals and seals, the polar bear eats only the fat. Unless it is a famine, then the polar bear will eat plants if necessary, if there are any.
One Or More Enemies
The polar bear is a very strong animal. He needs it on the cold ice mountains. Because to be able to catch seals you have to have some muscles. That’s why it also has a thick coat for the cold. In fact, the polar bear has only one enemy: humans.
Physically we could never win against a polar bear, but with weapons, we can easily do that. In the past, mainly Eskimos hunted polar bears, now also people from continents such as America, Europe, and Asia. Hunting polar bears was banned around 1973, including selling fur or skins.
Underwater Or Above Water
The polar bear is a real water rat because it is very good at swimming. This comes in handy in the watery area where it mainly lives. The Latin name also has to do with it, which is Ursus maritime (sea bear). The polar bear is faster on land.
He can travel 2 kilometers per day in the water and 20 on land. He can stay underwater for 72 seconds, which is quite a long time. He does not use swimming for hunting, it is much too slow for that. He uses swimming for areas where it is impossible to walk on ice or land.
Polar bears are only found in the wild in the Arctic regions. They mainly live near the mainland, near the so-called pack ice. Often they follow the ice line because the seals are on the ice. In the summer a lot of ice melts and then it may happen that a polar bear moves to the mainland.
There are about 22,000 polar bears around the world. There are a lot of polar bears in Spitsbergen, about 5000. There is therefore a good chance of encountering a polar bear. Most polar bears live in the east and north of Spitsbergen.
Normally, the bear feeds on seals and bearded seals. Weak whales and prey of reindeer, for example, are also eaten by polar bears. Yet it sometimes happens that a polar bear attacks a human. Polar bears are one of the only animal species that humans consider prey.
Many people think that polar bears are stuffed animals because they look so cute. Unfortunately, this is not the case. When you get too close, or a polar bear is desperate for food, chances are the polar bear will kill you. Some people even believe that everyone who goes out into nature in Spitsbergen should carry a gun.
This allows them to fire a shot to scare off the bear. Shooting the bear is only allowed if you are in real danger. This only happens about three times a year in Spitsbergen. Often polar bears won’t do anything when you encounter them, but when they want to attack you’re in trouble.
Because they are so big, heavy, and fast it is impossible to beat a polar bear. In the summer when the ice melts, some polar bears come to the mainland. Then they are usually the most dangerous because there is little food for them to find. They then search the mainland for food remains and often attack people.
A mother bears with a young bear is also very dangerous. She will try to protect her young and waits nothing, but attacks quickly. When you go to Spitsbergen and go into nature there, you are supposed to take a gun with you. It is recommended that you actually do this.
A researcher was of the opinion that this was not necessary and returned seriously injured because he had been attacked by a polar bear. The rifle is initially not intended to shoot a polar bear, but to fire a warning shot so that it goes away. It is also important not to sneak through nature, but to make a lot of noise. This allows polar bears to hear that people are there and give them a chance to leave.