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Polar Bear

The polar bear, also known as the white bear, northern bear, sea bear, or nanuq in some Inuit languages, is a species of bear that is native to the Arctic and the apex predator within its range.

Its thick blubber and fur insulate it against the cold, and its translucent fur, which appears white or cream-colored, camouflages it from its prey.

The bear has a short tail and small ears that help reduce heat loss, as well as a relatively small head and long, tapered body to streamline it for swimming.

The polar bear is a semi-aquatic marine mammal that depends mainly upon the pack ice and the marine food web for survival.

It has uniquely adapted for life on a combination of land, sea, and ice and is now dependent on this combination.

Scientists now believe that the projected decreases in the polar sea ice due to global warming will have a significant negative impact or even lead to extinction of this species within this century.

Population reductions of up to 20% have been recorded in recent years, the average weight of the bears has been declining significantly, and cub survival rates have plunged.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Polar Bear", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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October 9, 2015

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