2) These are seriously big bears, gang. 900 bears a year were harvested in the 1920s and after World War II, there were as many as 400–500 harvested annually. [87] Studies have also photographed polar bears scaling near-vertical cliffs, to eat birds' chicks and eggs. A polar bear may charge a group of walruses, with the goal of separating a young, infirm, or injured walrus from the pod. Thus, now the Alaskan population more resembles the world population in that it is more likely to den on land. Strong, sharp claws are also important for gaining traction, for digging through ice, and for killing prey. 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. [4] However, recent reanalysis of the fossil suggests that it was actually a brown bear. As their prey is aquatic, polar bears are excellent swimmers, and they are even known to kill beluga whales. A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–700 kg (770–1,540 lb), while a sow (adult female) is … Other concerns for polar bears include lethal response to human-polar bear conflict, toxic pollution in the environment, and direct impacts from industrial development, such as disturbance of maternal dens or contact with an oil spill, and potential overhunting of some subpopulations. It is also called white bear or northern bear.It has black skin under the white fur. Polar bear, (Ursus maritimus), also called white bear, sea bear, or ice bear, great white northern bear (family Ursidae) found throughout the Arctic region. The skin is not white; it is black. The polar regions complete a rotation in 12 hours being the most pronounced differential rotation of any planet in the Solar System, resulting in strong latitudinal wind shear. [131] Polar bears are especially susceptible to Trichinella, a parasitic roundworm they contract through cannibalism,[132] although infections are usually not fatal. [48] In the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, polar bears retreat each summer to the ice further north that remains frozen year-round. [73] When sprinting, they can reach up to 40 km/h (25 mph). [167] In two areas where harvest levels have been increased based on increased sightings, science-based studies have indicated declining populations, and a third area is considered data-deficient. [62] Polar bear fur consists of a layer of dense underfur and an outer layer of guard hairs, which appear white to tan but are actually transparent. Most brown bears have about 2 percent genetic material from polar bears, but one population, the ABC Islands bears, has between 5 percent and 10 percent polar bear genes, indicating more frequent and recent mating. [137] Wolves are rarely encountered by polar bears, though there are two records of Arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos) packs killing polar bear cubs. [29] Polar bears can breed with brown bears to produce fertile grizzly–polar bear hybrids;[4][30] rather than indicating that they have only recently diverged, the new evidence suggests more frequent mating has continued over a longer period of time, and thus the two bears remain genetically similar. While not unheard of but still uncommon, polar bears have been sighted increasingly in larger numbers ashore, staying on the mainland for longer periods of time during the summer months, particularly in North Canada, traveling farther inland. [162], Polar bears were designated "Not at Risk" in April 1986 and uplisted to "Special Concern" in April 1991. [66] The hollow guard hairs of a polar bear coat were once thought to act as fiber-optic tubes to conduct light to its black skin, where it could be absorbed; however, this hypothesis was disproved by a study in 1998. Peacock, E., Derocher, A. E., Thiemann, G. W., & Stirling, I. No, polar bears are not an endangered species, but they are threatened. [2][37][38], There are 19 generally recognized, discrete subpopulations, though polar bears are thought to exist only in low densities in the area of the Arctic Basin. Multiple cases of adoption of wild cubs have been confirmed by genetic testing. Hunting The human-like posture of bears when standing and sitting, and the resemblance of a skinned bear carcass to the human body, have probably contributed to the belief that the spirits of humans and bears were interchangeable. Ursus eogroenlandicus [200] However, most polar bear biologists think that polar bears will be unable to completely offset the loss of calorie-rich seal blubber with terrestrial foods, and that they will be outcompeted by brown bears in this terrestrial niche, ultimately leading to a population decline. Eastern populations are usually … The most accurate counts require flying a helicopter in the Arctic climate to find polar bears, shooting a tranquilizer dart at the bear to sedate it, and then tagging the bear. [33][34][35] One alleged fossil subspecies has been identified: Ursus maritimus tyrannus, which became extinct during the Pleistocene. Milk from polar bear mothers is 35 percent fat; this helps the cubs grow quickly. Bears do not generally communicate by sound and usually are quiet, but they do growl at times when feeding, when being challenged by another bear or by humans, and when competing for mates.…, These include the polar bear (as much a marine as a terrestrial animal), caribou, arctic wolf, arctic fox, arctic weasel, arctic hare, brown and collared lemmings, ptarmigan, gyrfalcon, and snowy owl. 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