Polar Bears

A:

Several organizations work to save polar bears by holding federal and state agencies accountable under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which offers legal protection to designated plants and animals under the federal government. Some advocacy groups include the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.

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  • Do polar bears live at the South Pole?

    Q: Do polar bears live at the South Pole?

    A: Polar bears do not live at or near the South Pole. In fact, polar bears actually live near the Arctic Circle, or North Pole, where they hunt seals through the openings in the frozen water.
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  • How do polar bears protect themselves?

    Q: How do polar bears protect themselves?

    A: Polar bears protect themselves and their young with powerful forearms, sharp claws and strong jaws. Polar bears use their claws for hunting and gaining traction on the ice as well as for protection.
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  • Why do polar bears have white fur?

    Q: Why do polar bears have white fur?

    A: Polar bears have white fur because it serves as camouflage in the Arctic snow, allowing them to blend into the environment and hunt. Polar bears, having evolved from grizzly bears thousands of years ago, also changed in other ways to survive in their habitat.
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  • What is a polar bear's defense?

    Q: What is a polar bear's defense?

    A: Because polar bears are apex predators, they have no natural enemies, but when a polar bear male fights another male during mating season, it defends itself with its brute strength, curved claws, powerful jaws and long, sharp canine teeth. In rare encounters with other predators, such as grizzlies, a polar bear tends to back off in defense and leave the carcass to its opponent.
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  • Why do polar bears live in the Arctic?

    Q: Why do polar bears live in the Arctic?

    A: Polar bears live in the Arctic because they are well suited to thrive in freezing temperatures. Polar bears are insulated by an ample layer of fat and a double layer of thick, white fur that camouflages them from being detected by predators and prey. The furry feet of the polar bear have a network of bumps that gives the animal traction on ice and snow.
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  • Do polar bears live in the North Pole?

    Q: Do polar bears live in the North Pole?

    A: Polar bears live in the Arctic, which is the region that surrounds the North Pole. They spend much of their time on sheets of Arctic ice.
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  • Where do polar bears sleep?

    Q: Where do polar bears sleep?

    A: Polar bears sleep on the open ground, dig pits in gravel and sand at shorelines, or dig shallow areas in the snow or beneath protected ridges. Once inside these protective depressions, they turn their backs to the wind.
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  • Why do polar bears have large paws?

    Q: Why do polar bears have large paws?

    A: Polar bears large paws are an adaptation feature, which allows polar bears to spread their weight on snow and ice more effectively. The paws act like snowshoes for balancing the significant weight polar bears have. Fur on the bottom of their paws also helps polar bears to grip the ice.
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  • How many polar bears are left in the world?

    Q: How many polar bears are left in the world?

    A: The World Wildlife Foundation estimates that there are between 20,000 and 25,000 polar bears left in the world. Between 60 and 80 percent of these animals live in Canada.
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  • How big do polar bears get?

    Q: How big do polar bears get?

    A: The male polar bear measures 8 to 9 feet and weighs between 550 and 1320 pounds, while the female measures 6 to 7 feet and weighs between 200 and 700 pounds. Polar bears are the largest terrestrial carnivores, and the only other bear of similar size is the Kodiak bear.
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  • Do polar bears eat penguins?

    Q: Do polar bears eat penguins?

    A: Polar bears do not eat penguins in the wild because the animals are not able to interact. Polar bears live in arctic regions, while penguins are found in the southern hemisphere.
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  • What is being done to preserve the polar bear population?

    Q: What is being done to preserve the polar bear population?

    A: Several organizations work to save polar bears by holding federal and state agencies accountable under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which offers legal protection to designated plants and animals under the federal government. Some advocacy groups include the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.
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  • Q: What is the lifespan of a polar bear?

    A: The life expectancy of a polar bear living in its natural habitat is 15 to 18 years. A polar bear living in captivity can live to be 30 years old.
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  • Q: How do polar bears keep warm?

    A: Polar bears possess a number of adaptations for the cold that keep them warm, including thick fur, thick fat and increased body size compared to other bear species. Due to these adaptations, polar bears are more likely to overheat than to experience hypothermia.
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  • Q: How fast can a polar bear run?

    A: A polar bear can run 18.6 miles per hour. It is the slowest of the bear species but is ranked as the largest land carnivore in the world, which may account for its lack of speed.
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  • Q: How do polar bears care for their young?

    A: Female polar bears care for their young by feeding and protecting them from the time they are born until they are weaned at about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years of age. Males abandon females after mating and do not help to care for the cubs.
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  • Q: What are Churchill polar bears?

    A: Churchill polar bears are polar bears that migrate through the city of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada. The polar bears remain around Churchill from October through November, waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze. The endangered bears serve as a huge tourist attraction for the city.
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  • Q: What is the world's largest polar bear?

    A: The largest polar bear on record was shot in Alaska in the nineteenth century. It was over 12 feet tall and weighed 2,210 pounds. Polar bears have an average weight of 900 to 1,000 pounds. They are considered one of the world’s largest bears.
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  • Q: What kind of bacteria decomposes a polar bear?

    A: The kind of bacteria that decomposes a polar bear is the same kind that decomposes any other animal. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes take turns eating the dead body until only the skeleton remains. Because polar bears inhabit very cold regions, the overall process of decomposition is slowed.
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  • What are some basic facts about polar bears?

    Q: What are some basic facts about polar bears?

    A: Polar bears are large, carnivorous predators that live in the Arctic. They are the largest land predator on Earth, and unlike other bears who forage for nuts and berries, live almost entirely on meat.
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  • Q: What are some facts about polar bears?

    A: The polar bear is a carnivorous marine mammal that lives exclusively in the Arctic. A female polar bear typically gives birth to one or two cubs per litter. Male adult polar bears can weigh as much as 1700 pounds and be 9 feet long. They are the second largest land carnivores in the world.
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