Class: Ursidae. 9bPhysical characteristics: Bears have big heads, round ears, small eyes that face forward, very short tails, and stocky legs. They are plantigrade, walking on the heels and soles of their feet like humans do. Each paw has five curved claws that are not retractable, or cannot be pulled back. Habitat: The polar bear habitats encompass the entire Arctic region. Polar bears have adapted to be able to live in the water and on land. Unlike other bear species, the polar bear are excellent swimmers, and have been spotted more than 100 miles away from land or ice. The polar bear habitat is that of the entire Arctic region. Life cycle: Female polar bears reach sexual maturity at about four to five years. Male polar bears reach sexual maturity at about six years. Breeding takes place from March to June on the sea ice, but most occurs during April and May. During the breeding season, males and females find each other by congregating in the best seal-hunting habitats. Male polar bears have been seen following the tracks of breeding female polar bears for more than 100 km Competition for females is intense. Females breed about once every three years; therefore, there are about three adult males to every breeding female. Before mating, a female polar bear may be accompanied by several males. The males fight fiercely among themselves until the strongest or largest male succeeds in chasing the others away. Dominant males may succeed in mating with several females in a season. Females have babies in the den while hibernating. Polar bears life span is about 15-18 years. Prey: The Polar bear’s main prey is the Arctic seal which is a rich source of high-fat blubber. They have a very interesting way of catching their prey. A Polar bear would make a breathing hole somewhere in the middle of a vast ice expanse. Seals would often come out of these holes to breath. The Polar bear would patiently lie on its stomach with its mouth near the hole, waiting...
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