The polar bear is well known to all. Here is some information that you may find out about him:
- Its scientific name is "Ursus maritimus".
- Polar bears have no natural predators, hence their reputation as the "king of the ice pack".
- Polar bears live only in the Arctic region. They can be found in Greenland, northern Canada and Russia, among other places. They live on the ice pack around the North Pole.
- Today, the polar bear population is estimated at around 22,000 individuals. They are distributed throughout the Arctic because they do not live in groups, they are solitary animals.
- The size of bears varies: it is about 3 meters for a male bear standing on his hind legs and 2 meters for females.
- As for their weight, males can weigh up to 400 kg while females weigh only about 300 kg. Bear cubs weigh only about 600 g when they are born. Their weight gain can be extremely rapid.
- Their diet is essentially carnivorous: they eat mainly seals, but also fish, walrus, and other carcasses.
- Their white fur allows them to be very good hunters on the ice. They have a black skin underneath this coat to capture the sun's rays through their fur.
- Their fur is so insulating that during the "heat" of summer, they sometimes suffer from it and rub against the ice to cool down.
- Polar bears are great swimmers! Its body and characteristics are particularly well adapted to aquatic life: waterproof fur, large hind legs that can be used as a rudder. In 2009, a GPS-equipped polar bear spent 10 days at sea, swimming about 675 km. This makes them excellent swimmers. It is therefore not uncommon to come across polar bears miles away from land.
- They are recognized as vulnerable by the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, because of the melting ice that is restricting their territory.
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