Zoology & Botany

polar bear

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy polar bear in advance, as well as a sample of white fur

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a polar bear.) This is a mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals that live on land are warm blooded, have 4 legs and ears that stick out. Polar bears are marine mammals that live in one of the planet's coldest environments and depend on a thick coat of insulated fur, which covers a warming layer of fat. Fur even grows on the bottom of their paws, which protects against cold surfaces and provides a good grip on ice. The long neck and narrow skull of the polar bear probably aid in streamlining the animal in the water while warming the air that they breathe, and their front feet are large, flat and oar-like, making them excellent swimmers. The bear's stark white coat provides camouflage in surrounding snow and ice. But under their fur, polar bears have black skin—the better to soak in the sun's warming rays. Go back to the picture of the polar bear. Say: let’s find polar bear’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, legs: 1,2,3,4; this is its tail. Polar bear fur is oily and water repellent. The hairs don't mat when wet, allowing the polar bears to easily shake free of water and any ice that may form after swimming. They are excellent swimmers; their scientific name, Ursus maritimus, means "sea bear¨. Their large front paws, which they use to paddle, are slightly webbed and their back legs are used as rudders. These bears have been known to swim more than 60 miles (100 km) without rest. Unlike brown bears, males and non-breeding females do not hibernate in the winter. No matter how adorable polar bears look, these animals are not cuddly. In fact, polar bears are ferocious hunters. These Arctic giants are the masters of their environment and have no natural enemies. Polar bears are living things and need energy to survive. Polar bears feed mainly on ringed and bearded seals. Depending upon their location, they also eat harp and hooded seals. When other food is unavailable, polar bears will eat just about any animal they can get, including reindeer, small rodents, seabirds, waterfowl, fish and eggs. So, Polar bears are carnivorous since they feed on other animals! Around the age of four or five the females polar bear can start having babies. They usually give birth during the months of November or December, after a gestation of eight months. In preparation, the animals dig a cave from a snow bank in which to have their cubs. This cave is called a maternity den. At birth, a cub weighs about half a kilogram, but they grow very quickly. Cubs depend on their mothers for warmth and fattening milk, which is 36 percent fat. Polar bear cubs learn to freeze and remain still while their mother hunts.  If they move, the mother disciples them, with a whack to the head. By spring, the cubs are outside the den, exploring, and at two years of age they are fully mature. Polar bears live around 15 to 20 years. Since humans are polar bears only predator. We need to take care of Polar bears and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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