ANIMAL FILE

polarbear2.jpg

Species:Polar Bear(Ursus maritimus)
Scientific classification: Mammal,vertebrate and carnivor
Physical characteristics:The polar bear is the largest land carnivore.
Male polar bears (boars) grow two to three times the size of females (sows). Boars weigh about 350 to more than 650 kg (772-1,433 lb.) and are about 2.5 to 3 m (8.2-9.8 ft.) long.


Population and distribution:The circumpolar Arctic on ice-covered waters,from Canada, to Norway, parts of the US, the former USSR and Greenland.
Habitat:The preferred habitat is the annual ice near the coastlines of continents and islands.
external image Polar-bear-cub.jpg
Feeding: Polar bears feed mainly on ringed and bearded seals. On occasion, polar bears kill beluga whales and young walruses
external image Polar-bear-eating-seal-carcass.jpg

Life cycle:/ Breeding / Reproduction: The total gestation period is about eight months. Most adult females give birth once every three years. In populations with access to abundant food, birth occurs once every two years
The most frequent litter size is two, followed by litters of one.
external image Female-polar-bear-with-very-young-cubs.jpg
Mother polar bears are extremely protective of their young, even risking their own lives in their cubs' defense.
Polar bears can live 20 to 30 years, but only a small percentage of polar bears live past 15 to 18 years.