Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth, Minnesota

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Animals - Polar Shores

Polar Bear
Ursus maritimus
Range: Circumpolar on the frozen arctic ocean.
Habitat: Frequently found where there are stretches of open water.  They breed on small, hilly arctic islands.
Diet: Primarily seals but also scavange on whale and walrus carcasses.
Fun Facts:
  • The polar bear is a tireless migrator!   Most of the population migrates uninterupted with the ice drifts in an east-west direction around the North Pole!
  • Each strand of fur is an excellent light transmitter and allows light to reach the black skin where the heat is absorbed!  The fur is oily, impenetrable to water and is an excellent insulator! Very often, a polar bear cannot be detected by an infrared camera except by the nose which does radiate heat!
  • Adult males weigh 600-1100 pounds and measure 6.5-8 feet long!
  • The forepaws are large, webbed and oarlike as an adaption for swimming!  A polar bear may swim up to 60 miles at a time without stopping!
  • Polar bears rely on smell to hunt, their most highly developed sense!
  • At birth, the cubs are blind, have hair, and weigh about 1-1.5 pounds!  The life span is about 30-35 years!

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