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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • How long do polar bears live?

    Q: How long do polar bears live?

    A: A polar bear can live up to 18 years on average in the wild. In captivity, polar bears have been known to live up to 30 years.
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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 does a shaved polar bear look like?

    A: The skin of a polar bear is black, so a shaved polar bear is completely black. The skin has a layer of fat underneath that measures as much as 4.5 inches thick. This fat keeps polar bears warm while swimming since wet fur doesn't insulate well.
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  • Q: Where do polar bears live?

    A: Polar bears live in the Arctic. As of 2015, there are 20,000 to 25,000 living in 19 sub-groups in Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia and Norway. They live on the edges of pack ice, in areas where the currents and winds cause continuous melting and refreezing of ice.
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  • Q: How many polar bears are alive today?

    A: As of 2008, scientists estimate there are approximately 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears. Polar bears are considered endangered as their environments are at risk from climate change. This is primarily due to warming conditions that cause sea ice to melt.
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  • Q: What is some good polar bear information for kids?

    A: Polar bears live in the Arctic and are the largest meat-eating land animal. Polar bears eat mostly seals; they can smell a seal a mile away.
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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 color is a polar bear's fur?

    A: The fur on polar bears is clear, and their skin is black. Polar bears often appear to be white as a result light reflection. Polar bear fur may take on other colors, such as yellow or brown, depending on light and environmental conditions.
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  • Q: What is the polar bear's place in the food chain?

    A: The polar bear is at the top of the food chain for arctic animals, helping to control the seal population by feeding almost exclusively on seals. Polar bears rely on the high fat content of seals to fuel their bodies and maintain good levels of needed fat within their own bodies.
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  • Q: Where can you find a list of facts on polar bear migration?

    A: As of 2015, Polar Bears International, formerly Polar Bears Alive, provides a bear tracker on its website that follows individual bears, providing current and historical data regarding migration patterns, depth of ice layers, maps and satellite imagery. A video is provided to explain ice flow over the last 30 years.
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