Ursus Maritimus: polar bear; ice bear / great white northern bear.
The largest and most powerful carnivore on land, the polar bear is an extremely dangerous animal, which has no natural predators and knows no fear of humans. Family Ursidae is found throughout the Arctic region, roaming the ice sheets and swimming in the costal waters. The polar bear travels long distances over vast desolate expanses, generally on drifting oceanic ice floes, searching for its primary prey, seals.
Polar bears live in the Arctic and depend on a thick coat of insulated fur, which covers a warming layer of fat. Underneath the camouflaging white coat of fur, their black skin allows them to absorb the sun’s warming rays. Polar bears are very strong swimmers, and their large front paws are slightly webbed, allowing them increased movement in the water. They also have fur on their paws for grip and insulation from ice.
Females make a den by digging into deep snow drifts, to protect and insulate. They give birth in winter, usually to twins. Cubs live with their mothers for approximately 28 months to learn survival skills. Females aggressively protect their young, but receive no help from their solitary male mates. In fact, male bears occasionally will kill the younger bears, if they find them.
Powerful predators, they typically prey on seals and frequent areas of shifting, cracking ice where seals may surface to breathe air. They have also been documented consuming carcasses of dead whales. Due to their tendency to not fear humans, the bears can be quite dangerous. Near human settlements, they often acquire a taste for garbage and this can make the surrounding areas very unsafe.