Polar bears found largely in the Arctic polar caps and surrounding regions is a large carnivorous bear and closely related to the brown bear.
Although most polar bears are born on land, they are largely water animals, spending most of their life in the icy cold waters of the Arctic.
To survive such freezing temperatures, these animals need special adaptations, both physiological and behavioral that gives them an advantage over the other species inhabiting these regions, although there are not many.
One visible adaptation of the polar bear is its huge frame and thick coat of fur. What makes him huge is the thick layer (up to about 11 cm) of blubber (fat) under its skin, which provides insulation from the cold.
This also has a disadvantage because it can sometimes overheat. To prevent this polar bear has adapted to moving quite slowly, taking frequent rests in between.
Close related to this is its black skin under its thick coat of fur. This allows for better heat retention, which the polar bear relieves if it gets too hot, by taking a swim in the icy cold waters of the Arctic.
This brings us to another adaptation of these huge animals; their ability of being excellent swimmers. They can swim up to about 10 km/ph, and are known to be able to swim continuously for about 100 km especially when pursuing prey.
The polar bear’s fur, like many animals living in the tundra acts as a camouflage against the wide-open snow spaces. When it is hunting, the polar bear covers its black nose with its paws so the prey will not recognize him.
The animals also have very small rounded ears, which help preserve body temperature and prevent water from entering its ears and freezing its eardrums.
Its thick fur coat is hollow, allowing it to trap air inside it, allowing the bear to float easily in water. The air also provides the bear with insulation, acting as a barrier between its warm body and the cold air and water.
He also releases excess heat from his body through areas, which do not have much fur or blood vessels, like its muzzle, ears, footpads, nose, shoulders, and inner thighs.
The polar bear is also extremely skilled at digging deep holes several meters deep underground. This gives him shelter from the strong winds of the Arctic, and shields him from broken branches and debris that often fly around.
The polar bear’s feet are rather special. They have long stiff fir between their pads, which protect the feet from the cold, help it swim in icy waters, provide it with a good grip when walking on ice so that he does not slip, and also prevent ice from forming once he comes out of water.
The animal’s limbs are especially useful for him when he is swimming. While his front paws push him, forward in a doggy paddle, his back feet act as rudders when held flat.
When he is under water, his nostrils immediately close up, similar to his small ears. This way he does not choke underwater.
Its body has an excellent thermoregulation system that allows it to regulate its body temperature according to the outside temperatures.