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Mammals

Polar bear

Polar bearPolar bear The polar bear has a thick, white, waterproof coat. Underneath its skin there is a 10-centimetre (4-inch) thick, insulating layer of blubber. Its claws and hairs on the soles of its feet give it a grip on the ice. It is also an expert swimmer. The polar bear lives a solitary existence in the Arctic, where it feeds mainly on seals. Hungry polar bears are unpredictable animals and have been known to kill humans.

Polar Bear on landPolar Bear on landA polar bear about to seize a sealA polar bear about to seize a seal
 

Catching seals

Polar bears spend most of the year on floating ice in the Arctic, where they hunt seals. Their white fur provides perfect camouflage as they hunt. Bears use their excellent sense of smell to sniff out breathing holes in the ice, where seals rise for air. As soon as a seal appears, a bear grabs it with a paw and drags it up on to the ice, killing it with a bite to the head to crush its skull.
 
 

 

Maternity dens

Along with the Kodiak bear, the polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore. It is more than twice the size of the Siberian tiger.

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