The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) lives on the Arctic (this is around the North pole, don't confuse it with Antarctica - the Ant in Antarctica actually means opposite to). It is the largest of four currently recognized species of bear in the genus Ursus, which also includes the brown bear. It is the Apex predator in its territorium (this means it is not preyed upon, also called superpredator or alphapredator) and is perfectly adapted to life on the Arctic, with a thick layer of fat and fur acting as camouflage. Their paw pads with rough surfaces help prevent polar bears from slipping up on the ice. If you are concerned with global warming and the possible loss of habitat this causes for the Polar Bear, be sure to read this excellent page. Polar bears are completely dependent upon the sea ice for survival. From biologicaldiversity.org: "Polar bears use sea ice for virtually all of their essential behaviors including feeding, mating, travel, and maternity denning. They cannot survive the loss of sea ice habitat that will occur if current levels of greenhouse gas emissions continue.Scientists have already recorded thinner bears, lower female reproductive rates, and reduced juvenile survival in the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population in Canada, which is at the southern edge of the species’ range and the first to suffer impacts from global warming." (August 12, 2005). Maybe one day we are seriously transplanting polar bears to the Antarctic?
Which zoos have them?Brookfield Zoo (United States) and Edinburgh Zoo (United Kingdom)
The Polar bear is listed as Vulnerable (VU), considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Namings for the polar bearA young / baby of a polar bear is called a 'cub'. The females are called 'sow' and males 'boar'. A polar bear group is called a 'stocks or populations'.
Polar bear habitatsEpipelagic (0-200m), Estuaries, Marine Intertidal, Marine Neritic, Marine Oceanic, Pelagic, Rocky Shoreline, Shingle and / or Pebble Shoreline and / or Beaches, Shrubland and Subarctic Shrubland
Some facts about the
Adult weight : 475 kg (1045 lbs)
Maximum longevity : 44 years
Female maturity :1734 days
Male maturity : 1734 days
Gestation : 230 days
Weaning : 303 days
Litter size : 2
Interval between litters : 750 days
Weight at birth : 0.665 kg (1.463 lbs)
Weight at weaning : 27 kg (59.4 lbs)