Who in group predatory the largest? Polar bear!
Though the Arctic (from Greek "Arktos" – a bear) is obliged by the name to northern constellations of Big and Small She-bears, today it associates with bears live. Polar bears – the real polar nomads who on the continent come seldom. The most part of the life they drift on ice floes, at times reaching almost North Pole.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, commons.wikimedia.org
«Lullaby of a she-bear» (from "Umk’s" m-f):
We float on an ice floe,
As on a brigantine
On the gray-haired severe seas.
And all night long neighbors,
Shine the distant ships.
screen, shot from "Umk’s" m-f.
скан, disk Cover.
Alan Wilson, commons.wikimedia.org
Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US-Navy, commons.wikimedia.org
Arturo de Frias Marques, commons.wikimedia.org
Brocken Inaglory, commons.wikimedia.org
it is not specified, commons.wikimedia.org
Cases when ice floes with polar bears drifted already to the southeast of Greenland where they thawed are known, dooming many clumsy to death. Sometimes animals brought still to the south – for example, to the Japanese island of Hokkaido…
Polar bears suit more or less constant "apartments" only in the winter when comes to get term posterity. By the way, in connection with severe living conditions and a long growing there is it only time in three years. The dens-rodilni of a female equip on northern islands (Wrangel’s island, Franz Josef’s archipelago). During this period usually unsociable animals form dense congestions – for example, on Wrangel Island 180-200 she-bears gather.
Having dug out in the thickness of snow a den, the female plunges into a certain similarity of a light slumber (the real hibernation it is impossible to call it) during which gives birth to a two-three of tiny 600-800-gram bear cubs. The difference in the sizes between newborns and parents impresses, after all polar bears – the largest representatives of group predatory (to 1000 kg of weight and 3 m of length).
In spite of the fact that the polar bear – the close relative of a bear brown (they can even be crossed) to confuse them it is impossible. And not only because of color of fur. Unlike brown, at a polar bear rather small head with small ears and a straight nose, and also quite long neck. Besides, the owner of the Arctic has larger canines, than at the owner of a taiga, and here molars are developed more poorly.
All the matter is that a polar bear – an absolute predator. Actually, therefore he almost does not visit the continental tundra – to live to such hulk there extremely hard. Even sight at this predator is adapted for snow and ice open spaces. If polar explorers will be stuck together by "Whiteout", the bear, on the contrary, very badly sees, being on the usual earth.
Very eloquently and Latin name of a polar bear – Ursus Maritimus which is translated as «a bear sea». Really, this predator greatly floats – separate individuals met for one hundred kilometers from the next ice floe or a land. Except a full mekhoizolyatsiya (wool covers all body of a bear – even soles and auricles), from cold water of an animal are rescued by a solid grease layer. The bear with open eyes dives, but densely compresses ear openings and nostrils.
Thus the main diet of this predator is made at all by fish, and various species of seals – animals large, fat and nutritious. In hunting on lastonogy the bear is necessary not only on the power, but also on a sensitive scent (it feels a smell of burned fat for 6 km) and dexterity. Having guessed and having noticed on the bank of a seal, the clumsy giant practically on-plastunski creeps to the victim, without forgetting to cover with paws evil eyes and a nose or pushing before itself a "camouflage" piece of ice.
Quite often the bear ambushes, watching for seals at an ice-hole. It is necessary to any seal to want to breathe fresh air as the powerful blow of a sharp-clawed paw falls upon her head. Happens that the ice-hole less than the seal, but is to a bear not a hindrance. Its forces suffice to pull out the victim on a surface, having in passing broken it all edges.
The bear and on seal kids – so-called baby seals whom looks for likes to hunt, digging out snow.
The only thing lastonogy which the polar predator prefers not to contact is a walrus. Being in the same weight category, as a bear moreover possessing solid canines, the walrus is quite capable to finish off a predator (especially if fight occurs in water). Sometimes the duel came to an end with "draw", and then people found two linked corpses. Researchers noticed, what even on rookeries walruses do not panic, having caught sight of a bear, and that, in turn, usually does not decide a misfortune in the open.
Polar bears in the Arctic have no natural enemies, they see people seldom therefore treat the last without special fear. These predators are extremely curious and wishes to visit warehouses of polar explorers, as required. Similar visits are equally dangerous both to people, and for bears. Though in reality of the tragedy happen seldom. For example, from 1930 to 1967 in the USSR nine such precedents (from them four – with a deadly outcome) were fixed only.
The first skins of a polar bear, or «ушкуя» (as him called in Russia), Russian hunters started to bring in the XII-XIII century. Even earlier on this predator Eskimos began to hunt. To fill up a bear by means of a knife or a harpoon not too easily, in hunting victim detection was considered as the most difficult. If about any Eskimo boy spoke: «It killed the first bear», it, as a rule, meant that the boy the first saw it. Found a bear also the skin also got.
When number of polar predators sharply went on recession, hunting began to forbid or limit on them. For example, in the Soviet Union hunting for polar bears was completely forbidden in 1956.
About remained six types of family of the bear we will talk in the following – the last article of a cycle.