The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a bear native largely within the arctic circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak bear, which is approximately the same size. An adult male weighs around 350–680 kg (770–1,500 lb) while an adult female is about half that size. Although it is closely related to the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means maritime bear", and derives from this fact. Polar bears can hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of ssea i, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.
The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the 19 polar bear subpopulations in decline.For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous people and polar bears remains important in their cultures.
DO YOU KNOW:THE POLAR BEAR NEEDS IT'S THICK FUR TO KEEP THE ARCTIC COLD EVEN THE SOLES OF IT'S FEET ARE HURRY!
The polar bear is found in the Arctic Circle and adjacent land masses as far south as Newfoundland isand. Due to the absence of human development in its remote habitat, it retains more of its original range than any other extant carnivore While they are rare north of 88°, there is evidence that they range all the way across the Arctic, and as far south as James Bay in Canada. They can occasionally drift widely with the sea ice, and there have been anecdotal sightings as far south as Berlevåg on the Norwegian mainland and the Kuril islands in the sea of Okhotsk. It is difficult to estimate a global population of polar bears as much of the range has been poorly studied, however biologists use a working estimate of about 20,000–25,000 polar bears worldwide.