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Jennifer Kennedy

Polar Bears and the Arctic

By December 31, 2012

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Polar Bear Trio / Courtesy NOAA's National Ocean ServiceI blogged earlier about the walrus, an animal that lives in the Arctic. Another cold-weather animal is the polar bear, which lives only in Arctic regions.  Polar bears feed on ice seals, particularly ringed and bearded seals. Thus, like walrus, they are dependent on sea ice for their survival.

Polar bears are arguably the largest bear species (Kodiak bears are a close second).  They keep warm with a thick coat, composed of thick fur covered with longer guard hairs.  A polar bear's fur is hollow and clear, and reflects the light around it.  It can also absorb chemicals and contaminants from prey and the environment - polar bears may appear yellow due to the oils in their seal prey.  They become bright white again after molting, which occurs in summer.

Learn More About Polar Bears and the Arctic:

Image: Trio of Polar Bears, Courtesy NOAA's National Ocean Service on Flickr


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