Polar Bears are capable of jumping as high as 6 feet and can run as fast as 25mph. The polar bear or the sea/ice bear are the world's largest land predators.
Species: U. maritimus
The world's largest land predator, Polar bears grow twice as big as the Siberian Tigers. Male polar bears may grow 10 feet tall and weigh over 1400 pounds. Females reach seven feet and weigh 650 pounds. In the wild polar bears live up to age 25. Their skin, nose and lips are black in color. Their fur is thicker than any other bears’ even covering their feet, for warmth and traction on ice. Polar bears also have a thick layer of blubber which provides buoyancy and insulation. Despite what we think, a polar bear's fur is not white. Each hair is clear hollow tube. Polar bears look white because each hollow hair reflects the light. On sunny days, it traps the sun's infrared heat and keeps the bear warm at 98 degrees F (when they're resting). Polar bear fur is oily and water repellent. The hairs don't mat when wet, allowing the polar bears to easily shake free of water and any ice that may form after swimming.
They have wide front paws with slightly webbed toes that help them swim. Polar bears’ long neck and narrow skull aid in streamlining the animal in water, and their large, flat and oar-like front feet make them strong swimmers. They paddle with their front feet and steer with their hind feet. Paw pads with rough surfaces help prevent polar bears from slipping up on the ice. The Polar bears have been known to swim 100 miles (161 kilometers) at a stretch.
Polar bears primarily eat seals. They often rest silently at a seal’s breathing hole in the ice, waiting for a seal in the water to surface. Once the seal comes up, the bear will spring and sink its jagged teeth into the seal’s head. Sometimes the polar bear stalks its prey. It may see a seal lying near its breathing hole and slowly move toward it, then charge it, biting its head or grabbing it with its massive claws. A polar bear may also hunt by swimming beneath the ice.
Humans are the polar bears only predator. Baby polar bears often starve. In fact, 70 percent do not live to their third birthday. Sometimes seals are hard to find, especially in the summer when the ice has melted. All across the Arctic, man is moving in to mine oil and coal and there is less space for the polar bear to live. Oil spills can be very dangerous. A bear with oil on its coat cannot regulate its body temperature properly. If the bear eats the oil while grooming it could die. Man made pollution is also a cause of death. At each stage of the food chain, pollutants get more concentrated. By the end when the polar bear eats the seal and it could be lethal.