They are one of the world's largest land carnivores - alongside the Kodiak Bears. Polar Bears have been classified as Marine Mammals because they are semi-aquatic animals which have adapted to a life on land, in the sea, and on the ice. During the winter freeze, the polar bear hunts for seals, walruses, whales or whatever it can kill.
The small ears and short tail of a polar bear help reduce heat loss, while the thick blubber and fur insulate it from frigid temperatures. Their skin is black and the fur is hollow and translucent - appearing creamy to yellowy white and provides camouflage in most of its habitats.
As a marine mammal, the polar bear is a strong swimmer having been seen as far away as 100 kilometres or 60 miles from land. Their buoyancy is aided by the thick layer of blubber which is also their insulation from the cold. In recent years there have been four recordings of polar bears drowning because of the extra distance they must swim in order to reach their prey - this is a direct result of the decreases in polar sea ice due to global warming.
During the summer/fall months between the end of June to the mid of November, the polar bears mostly fast once they arrive back on land after the melt. Because of this, they mostly tend to rest and sleep a lot in order to conserve their energy. Occasionally a polar bear will get lucky and find a stranded seal which has slept through the ebbing tide - therefore not making it back to the water in time. The bears have a very keen sense of smell and will quickly find a stranded seal.
Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus, near Camp Nanuq, Hudson Bay, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
Make sure to see all our pictures of polar bears.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/640 sec. on ISO 100, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 400mm.
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