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Polar bears

Name : Polar Bear (its Latin name is Ursus maritimus)

Found : The Arctic region

Eats : Will eat berries, sedges, mussels and kelp; but mostly eats seals and walruses.

Average Weight : 150-250 kg (females), 350-650 kg (males)

Family : Ursidae

Move your mouse over the picture below, and click on parts of this Polar Bear to find out about them - or print it out and colour it in.

Drawing of a Polar Bear

Legs

A Polar Bear's legs are large and stocky.

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Feet

The feet are five-toed paws. The paws are large compared to body size, they can be up to 30cm in diameter. The paws act like snow shoes spreading the bear's weight as it walks over the snow.

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Head

The polar bear's head is oblong and quite small compared to its body size. The muzzle is long with a "Roman-nosed" (slightly arched) snout. The nose is broad and black.

More information on [TEETH] [EYES] [EARS]

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Teeth

Polar Bears have 42 teeth, which they use for catching food and for aggressive behaviour. The incisors are used to shear off pieces of blubber and flesh; the canines grasp prey and tear tough hides; the jagged premolars and molars chew, but Polar Bears swallow most of their food in chunks rather than chewing.

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Eyes

The Polar Bear's eyes are dark brown, set relatively close together, and look forwards.

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Ears

The ears are small and rounded and lie flat when under water.

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Hair

The Polar Bear is completely furry except for the nose and soles of feet which are black. A Polar Bear's coat is about 2.5 to 5 cm thick. A dense, woolly, insulating layer of underhair is covered by a relatively thin layer of stiff, shiny, clear guard hairs. Polar Bear fur is oily and water repellent. The hairs don't mat when wet, allowing the Polar Bears to easily shake free of water and any ice that may form after swimming. Ice forms when the wet fur is exposed to air temperatures at or below freezing. The hairs reflect light giving a polar bear its white colour. Polar Bears completely moult (shed and replace their fur) every year, in May or June. This can last several weeks.

More information on [Skin] [Tail]

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Skin

The polar bear's skin is black.

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Tail

The tail is small about 7 to 12 cm long.

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Designed by Roland Warren, Saffron Walden County High School on 20 January 1998.
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