The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Polar Bear or White Bear (Ursus maritimus)

Reference work entry

Polar Bear or White Bear (Ursus maritimus) – a mammal of the Ursidae family from Carnivora order. It serves as a symbol of the Arctic. It is the biggest extant terrestrial carnivore. Adult male’s body length is 2–2.5 m sometimes amounting to 2.8–3 m. Female’s length is usually no more than 2 m. Adult males weigh 400–500 kg (in exceptional cases 800–1,000 kg) and females 200–300 kg (rarely 400 kg). Running speed can reach 60 km/h. The power of a paw blow amounts to 1 t. Apart from marking, it differs from a brown bear in the following aspects: it has a longer and narrower body, a long and mobile neck, and a relatively small head with a more strengthened profile. The ears are small, a little protruding from the hair coat. The feet are massive (especially on forepaws), with densely haired lower surfaces; the nails are slightly crooked, relatively short, and very sharp. The tail is short and hidden in the hair coat. The pelage is very thick in the winter, but it is shorter and less rough...

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016