polar bear Pictures

 
Top Left Solid Corner

Polar Bear Photos Showing This Marine Mammal Endangered by Global Warming

Top Right Solid Corner

The Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus, is a marine mammal and is the largest carnivore found on land. They live throughout the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, and their range includes five nations, Greenland owned by Denmark, Svalbard owned by Norway, Russia, Alaska part of the United States, and Canada. All five nations signed the 1973 International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears, which controls research and conservation efforts throughout the bear’s range. The polar bears range is still wide as most of it is remote and uninhabited. This also makes accurate population counts difficult, however the World Conservation Union estimates a total population of 20,000 to 25,000 animals.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature includes the polar bear on its Red List of the world’s most endangered animals, and predicts a 30% reduction in population by 2050. The IUCN lists global warming as the most significant threat to polar bears, because the reduction of the Arctic sea pack ice will severely reduce its ability to find seals that are its primary food. The United States Department of the Interior listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2008, citing the melting of Arctic sea pack ice as the primary threat to the polar bear.

Global warming is causing the loss of stable pack ice in the Arctic, and the thinning and disappearance of the ice is a great threat to the survival of polar bears. The polar bear depends upon stable pack ice for its activities. They spend most of their life on the ice hunting, mating, and denning. Sometimes the ice melts, forcing polar bears to go onto land and wait through the months until the next freeze-up.

Polar bears can be pure white ranging through to a yellowish shade as they age. Bears in captivity in warm climates may turn a shade of pale green from algae that grows in their hollow guard hairs. Males grow longer ornamental foreleg hair that is thought to attract females similar to a lion’s mane. Their skin, nose and lips are black, and they have furred feet to give them a good grip on the ice. They also have a thick layer of blubber, which keeps them warm in the icy seas, as well as providing buoyancy. Their insulation is so effective that they will overheat at temperatures above 50 degrees F. They grow to a height of between 8 and 10 feet, and males can weigh up to 1500 pounds. Females are approximately half the size of males, and can grow to seven and a half feet and weigh up to 600 pounds, except when pregnant when they increase their weight up to around 1100 pounds. Polar bears have an elongated body and a long skull and nose compared to other bears. They have short thick claws that are deeply scooped for digging ice. Polar bears have a very highly developed sense of smell, which helps them detect seals under the ice, good hearing, and good long distance eyesight. They are excellent swimmers and have been seen many miles out to sea. They live up to 20 to 25 years normally, although one bear in the wild lived to be 32. In captivity the oldest recorded bear was 43 years old. Polar bears in the wild may become too old and weak to hunt, and starve to death or die in fights.

The polar bears preferred food is ringed seals and bearded seals. They will also eat walrus, birds, and whale carcasses. Annual ice moves throughout the year with changes in the weather. Seals migrate with the ice, and the polar bears follow their prey. They catch the seals at the interface between the ice and water using a technique called still-hunting, where the bear uses its sense of smell to find a seal breathing hole. It will crouch by the hole until it hears a seal exhale and then will reach into the hole and drag the seal out on to the ice. They can also use stealth to stalk a seal on the ice, creeping up until close enough to attack. Polar bears can kill a walrus if necessary, although it prefers not to as the walrus can be more than twice its weight and very difficult to kill. When the sea ice melts the bears have been known to live off their fat reserves, and to eat muskox, reindeer, rodents and birds, but these do not contain enough fat to maintain the polar bears food needs. Polar bears wash their fur with water or snow after eating.

>>> Click Here To See More Polar Bear Pictures

 

picture of polar bear picture of polar bear picture of polar bear picture of polar bear

Picture of polar bears, Ursus maritimus, female with young, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Picture #: 008143

Image of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, Spitzbergen, Norway

Picture #: 002977

Stock photo of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, sleeping in the snow, Spitzbergen, Norway

Picture #: 002979

Picture of polar bears, Ursus maritimus, mother and cubs with driven snow in their coats and building up on their faces, Hudson Bay, Cape Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Picture #: 002552

picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear

Picture of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, male, swimming, close-up, Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada, Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 014385

Image of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, mother and cub, Churchill, Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada

Picture #: 010563

Stock photo of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, Spitzbergen, Norway

Picture #: 005410

Picture of polar bears, Ursus maritimus, footprints in the snow, Spitzbergen, Norway

Picture #: 002974

picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear

Picture of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, mother and cubs, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Picture #: 009888

Image of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, mother and cubs, feeding on carcass of bowhead whale, Balaena mysticetus, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Picture #: 008485

Stock photo of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, mother and cubs with driven snow in their coats and building up on their faces, Hudson Bay, Cape Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Picture #: 002551

Picture of polar bears, Ursus maritimus, mother and cub feeding, Spitzbergen, Norway

Picture #: 002981

picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear

Picture of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, with tracking collar, 1002 Arctic Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Picture #: 008464

Image of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, swimming in the Anchorage Zoo, Alaska

Picture #: 025377

Stock photo of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, spread out on the pack ice of the frozen coastal plain, 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Picture #: 021996

Picture of polar bear, Ursus maritimus, as it slips silently into the water off an ice floe in Spitsbergen.

Picture #: 068887

picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear

Picture of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, Spitzbergen, Norway

Picture #: 002982

Image of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, North Slope of Alaska

Picture #: 024137

Stock photo of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, young bear playing with a seagull wing on the pack ice, 1002 coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Picture #: 021799

Picture of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, in purple fireweed, Epilobium angustifolium, on sub-arctic island at Hubbart Point, Hudson Bay, near Churchill, Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada

Picture #: 071681

picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear picture of a polar bear

Picture of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, in summer, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, Arctic Ocean

Picture #: 073463

Image of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, mother and cubs, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, North Slope of Alaska

Picture #: 024102

Stock photo of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, cub playing with baleen from a whale, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Picture #: 008474

Picture of a polar bear, Ursus maritimus, skin stretched out to dry outside a house. Savissivik, north west Greenland, Arctic

Picture #: 068311

 

>>> Click Here To See More Polar Bear Pictures