According to Polar Bears International, polar bears have adapted to challenges facing the species since it evolved and are currently in the process of adapting to new challenges, such as climate change. According to Defenders of Wildlife, polar bears have thick fur and blubber that adapt them to their environment by keeping them warm and buoyant. They also evolved large feet that help them to swim.
Polar Bears International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the species' survival, notes that polar bears diverged from their common ancestor with brown bears at least 4 million years ago. At this time, they began to evolve the traits that helped them adapt to a life spent in the icy polar regions. Additionally, because they capture most of their food in the ocean, they acquired important swimming adaptations, such as a streamlined face, states Defenders of Wildlife.
World Wildlife Fund reports that polar bears live across a vast range that encircles the North Pole. Scientists split the bears into 19 different subpopulations. Each population must adapt to the unique challenges it faces; some subpopulations may not be able to adapt to their changing habitat. The World Wildlife Fund holds that five of the 19 subpopulations are currently in decline.Learn More
Polar bears are the largest land-dwelling meat-eaters on Earth, with seals being their main source of food. Polar bears sit on the ice at a breathing hole, which is a spot where seals come for air, and wait for seals to surface. Sometimes they even swim underneath the ice to hunt. Occasionally, they eat whales that are trapped in the ice.Full Answer >
Polar bears hunt their main prey, ringed seals, by waiting on the ice near breathing holes that the seals use for oxygen. Once the seals surface, the polar bears attack. Polar bears are creatures of opportunity, hunting and feeding on any convenient wildlife, including whales trapped in ice.Full Answer >
Polar bears do not live on Antarctica or anywhere near Antarctica. They live at and near the North Pole, mainly on the ice pack. Exclusively a Northern Hemisphere species, polar bears live in a type of habitat that is scarce in the Southern Hemisphere.Full Answer >
One specialized feature of polar bear anatomy is their development of webbed feet. Polar bears are highly efficient swimmers and are capable of traveling for hours at a time in the water without resting. Individual bears have been seen up to 200 miles out in the Arctic Ocean, using their large flat front feet as paddles.Full Answer >