The Whisker Chronicles

Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.

Polar Bear

Photo from the Creative Commons

Photo from the Creative Commons

Scientific Name: Ursus maritimus

Ursus is from Latin ursinus “of or resembling a bear”. Maritimus is from Latin maritimus “of the sea or near the sea”.

Where Polar Bears Live:

Polar bears have a range throughout the arctic region surrounding the North Pole that depends upon the ice pack of the Arctic Ocean and the land fast ice of surrounding coastal areas. Bears will travel as much as 600 miles in a season, north and south, as ice melts and freezes. Bears remain on islands or coastlines with landfast ice, drift on ice floes, or get stranded on land during summer, where they are forced to endure warm weather.

polarbearmap2011_npi_453894

What Polar Bears Eat:

Polar bears are carnivores that prefer seals but will also hunt walruses, sea birds and their eggs, small mammals and fish. They will also scavenge on carrion of seals, walruses, or whales. Polar bears consume the skin and blubber first and the rest is often abandoned until other polar bears or arctic foxes scavenge the leftovers.

How Long Polar Bears Live: 25 to 30 years

Why Polar Bears are Awesome:

Polar bears are the largest land carnivore in the world. Polar bears can swim up to 100 miles non stop and over several days, and at an average speed of 6 miles per hour. On land they can run as fast as 40 mph. You are not going to out swim or outrun a polar bear.

Why We Care about Polar Bears:

Polar bear populations are currently threatened by trends in global warming, which continues to decrease the extent of their habitat (pack ice) and their prey base. Their lives are an endurance event that continues to become more and more challenging.

Here is a video of a mother polar bear emerging from her den with her cubs, which is narrated by the beloved Sir David Attenborough.

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2014 by in Bears, Mammals, polar bear, Wildlife and tagged .
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