How long do polar bears live?
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Q:

How long do polar bears live?

A:

Quick Answer

A polar bear can live up to 18 years on average in the wild. In captivity, polar bears have been known to live up to 30 years.

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Full Answer

There are many reasons that polar bears have a relatively short life span compared to humans. Native to the Arctic, polar bears face many issues including warming, melting of ice, poaching and industrialization, all which can lead to death. These magnificent creatures are becoming endangered according to the U.S. Department of the Interior as the numbers are rapidly declining. Polar bears also reproduce slower than most other mammals, which also plays a role in the threat of the species becoming extinct. In captivity, such as zoos, many of environmental factors are nonexistent, which allows the bears to live longer lives. The record for the oldest polar bear stands at 42. This bear was kept in a Canadian zoo.

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    Why do polar bears live in the Arctic?

    A:

    Polar bears live in the Arctic because they are well suited to thrive in freezing temperatures. Polar bears are insulated by an ample layer of fat and a double layer of thick, white fur that camouflages them from being detected by predators and prey. The furry feet of the polar bear have a network of bumps that gives the animal traction on ice and snow.

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    What does a shaved polar bear look like?

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    The skin of a polar bear is black, so a shaved polar bear is completely black. The skin has a layer of fat underneath that measures as much as 4.5 inches thick. This fat keeps polar bears warm while swimming since wet fur doesn't insulate well.

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    A polar bear can run 18.6 miles per hour. It is the slowest of the bear species but is ranked as the largest land carnivore in the world, which may account for its lack of speed.

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