History of Polar Bears

 May 14, 2008, Polar bears are now on the threatened species list due to global warming.

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History of Polar Bears

Polar bears have lived in the arctic for many years.  Their bodies have adapted and developed in order for their survival in the polar region.  Polar bears are able to live in the deep freeze for many reasons.  They have thick fur that keeps in their body heat.  They have small ears and a small tail which means they loose less heat.  Their paws are so big that they act like snowshoes, and the pads on their feet have an anti-slip skin, which would be similar to sandpaper. 

For thousands of years polar bears have lived a great life in the North.  The Inuit people have lived with them, hunting them occasional for food or clothing.  There was never any fear that the Inuit would over hunt the polar bears because it was dangerous and the weapons available to them were primitive.  In more recent times, the polar bears have been sought out by hunters, just not the Inuit who live in the North.  They have been over hunted by people looking for the big trophy.  Eventually in the 1970s the over hunting was brought under control by the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears and Their Habitat.  Polar bear number once again began to grow because of this.    

The polar bear or Ursus maritimus, most likely is a relative to the brown bear.  These historic relatives most likely lived in the Arctic region of Eurasia.  The brown bear scavengers most likely evolved into active seal hunters on ice.   This transaction probably occurred when the seals began adapting to the cold and ice.  Natural selection and survival of the fittest as well as the ability to find and eat food helped the early polar bears evolve to the polar bears we know today.  The oldest known fossil of a polar bear is nearly 70 000 years old.  It was found new Kew, England.  This fossil shows a bear whose size is much larger than that of todays bears.    

 

 

Fun Facts About Polar Bears

 

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Updated November 18, 2009

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