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INTRODUCTION Ursus maritimus commonly known as the polar bear is quite an amazing animal The polar bear is of the order Carnivora and of the family Ursidae Polar bears live in the extremely cold regions of the Arctic and in Tundra They range from Alaska to Siberia and have been found as far as 720 miles south of the Arctic Circle The polar bear is quite huge They can be as tall as 825 feet when on all four feet or 12 feet when standing on their hind legs and weighs up to 1764 pounds The polar bear is carnivorous and can be very ferocious when necessary but is about the most gentle bear of all Living in such a harsh climate and being strictly a meat-eater has molded the polar bear into an incredible mammal with many special features MOVEMENT Since polar bears are carnivores and there isnt a lot of food in the Arctic they must be able to travel a great distance at a good speed Looking at a polar bear you will probably notice that it is bowlegged This means that their huge paws point inward Having their paws in this position helps them grip the slippery ice Another specialized feature of its paws is that they have pads of dense fur on the bottoms Polar bears are the only bears that have this feature These pads help the bear retain heat and to grip the ice and provide better traction Polar bears are fast movers When on uneven ice the bear will trot moving its legs on opposite sides in unison It can trot at 12 to 18 miles per hour When it is running it can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour The bear can travel around 50 miles on an average day The polar bear is also an expert swimmer The bear has a long neck with a small head
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