POLAR BEARS

   Polar bears live around the coast of the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole. They can survive in such a cold weather thanks to their white fur coat that isolates them from the low external temperature. Under that coat their skin is black  and we all know that black colour is said to absorb more heat than any other colour. In addition to all that, polar bears have a very thick layer of fat under their skin. Its purpose is to keep them warm too.

  During the winter season these bears withdraw in caves dug in the ice. There, they stay in a state similar to lethargy in order to save up some energy without having anything to eat. And speaking of eating, you should know that polar bears’ favourite meal is seals and fish. They know very well how to catch them by making holes in the thick ice and waiting patiently for the prey to come.

  Male polar bears weigh about 680 kg, whereas the females’ weight is just half of this number. Polar bears can reach the speed of 10 km/h swimming! Curious fact to mention is that they have 42 teeth and that males and females spend separate lives. However, when the cubs are born in mid-December, they remain in the company of their moms until the spring comes.

  Unfortunately, these beautiful and majestic animals are an endangered species.  Scientists say that there are only about 20 000 of them today.

  The reason why polar bears are in danger of extinction is the global warming. The climate changes cause the ice in the Arctic to melt which directly affects polar bears’ natural habitat ! Although they are great swimmers, nowadays polar bears are forced to cover greater and greater distances in order to reach land. Sadly, not all of them make it and that is why more and more die of exhaustion from swimming.

  The good news is that there are plenty of non-profit organizations which are trying to save their habitat!!!

GALLERY

 

GLOSSARY

to withdraw – to leave a place

lethargy – some animals fall into deep sleep for a long period of time having low body temperature in order to save energy 

seals – fish-eating mammal animals that live in cold waters (the Arctic Ocean for example)

prey – an animal that is killed by another animal for food

cubs – the young of a fox, bear, lion and some other animals

endangered species – an animal or plant that is at serious risk of extinction / disappearing

extinction – reduction to zero

to melt – the transformation of ice into water

habitat – the natural home of an animal or a plant

non-profit – not making money (for example an organization) 

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