Polar Bears are Arctic apex predators that make home
to one of the most inhospitable habitats on the planet.
And every year, that habitat gets even more unforgiving.
Hi, I’m Danielle Dufault and you’re watching Animalogic.
大家好 我是丹妮尔•迪福 你正在观看动物逻辑
Humans aside, polar bears reign supreme among land-dwelling apex predators.
They’re the largest land carnivore in the world.
Adult male polar bears can easily weigh 800 kilograms,
standing at almost 3 meters tall.
That’s twice as heavy as a grizzly bear.
Females are a lot slimmer, weighing only 400 kilos.
And their body weight fluctuates throughout the year,
depending on how much food they’re able to eat.
Living in the Arctic ring of life is difficult.
And to give them an edge over their habitat,
polar bears have developed a series of adaptations.
First of all, their fur.
Their coloration helps them camouflage
against the white backdrop of the Arctic.
Though they aren’t themselves actually white,
their fur is actually transparent.
It’s made of small hollow tubes and
they can reflect the colors of its surroundings,
the snow and the sky.
This is why they can appear yellow in summertime.
Polar bears have a thick layer of fat
as well as oily water-resistant fur
that protects them against the elements.
The most treacherous part about living in the Arctic
is that their habitat is melting.
And it gets worse every year
as temperatures around the world continue to rise.
To live in such a harsh and changing territory,
polar bears have become experts in the water.
Compared to others bears, their bodies are very long,
which makes them quite hydrodynamic.
Their front paws are massive about 30 centimeters wide.
And they use them as paddles.
The U.S. Geological Survey found that
polar bears can swim for up to ten days straight.
In that time, they can cover over 600 kilometers.
But it comes at a cost for polar bears
swimming as five times more energy-intensive than walking.
And the longer they have to spend swimming between meals,
the higher the chances that they’ll starve.
As global warming is causing summers to last longer in the Arctic,
the frozen walkways on which they so desperately rely
don’t stay frozen long enough for the bear to cross.
The further they have to swim on empty stomachs,
the more likely they’re to starve and drown.
Their diet consists of fat.
They’re unable to survive on a terrestrial diet
as their metabolism is optimized for fat,
which land mammals don’t have in high quantities.
Instead, they have to target fatty marine mammals, primarily seals.
They track these seals down with their incredible sense of smell.
Their noses contain as many as a hundred times
more scent receptors than our noses.
And olfactory bulb in their brains
is about five times bigger than ours.
This allows them to find seal holes at a great distance.
And when they find them,
they use their long claws and immense body weight
to break open the layers.
When a seal surfaces to breathe,
they grab hold of the seal’s neck with their jaw,
they drag it onto the ice and eat it.
Though when there isn’t anything else around,
starved polar bears exhausted by their long journeys
will take a big risk to feed their young.
Targeting a much deadlier class of prey, the walrus.
Coming in large packs, walruses are armed with deadly tusks,
capable of piercing a polar bears thick black skin.
A lucky bear is able to snatch a walrus cub
and make it out alive.
But others aren’t so lucky.
Competition for mating rights with females is intense
and can see two 800 kilo behemoths duke it out.
Mating occurs in the spring,
but polar bears delay their embryo implantation until October
when the female enters her den.
She will give birth to one or two cubs every three years.
The cubs are very small when they’re born.
But by April, they’re big enough to leave the den
and join mom on the hunt for food.
Entering their den in early October,
a lot of females will spend up to
eight months with no food.
But when they’re ready to emerge, they’re ravenous.
Their dens are made on land.
And in order to find something to eat,
they have to make the trek out onto the Arctic ice.
As global warming causes ice to form later in the year
and the break up earlier in the summer,
polar bears have to expend a lot more energy swimming
to the nearest ice in hopes of catching a seal.
Moms and their cubs travel very slowly in the water
and they have to take frequent breaks
as the cubs don’t yet have their insulating layer of fat
and can easily freeze to death.
If it takes them too long, mama bear will starve.
And if mama bear starves, the babies starve alongside her.
As the ice shrinks, polar bears have
turned to other means of finding food.
And oftentimes that means clashing with humans.
In February of 2019, a remote Russian town
2019年2月 在俄罗斯Novaya Zemlya地区
in the Novaya Zemlya region
found its garbage dumps invaded by dozens of polar bears.
At least 52 polar bears have visited
the village of Volusia Guba this year.
And they’ve even broken into homes,
apartments and office buildings in search of food.
Polar bears are vulnerable,
and since November of 2018 they’ve been considered
a species of special concern here in Canada
where two-thirds of the world polar bear population is found.
As such, a lot of the burden to protect polar bears falls to us.
Well, we have made some strides over the last two years.
Monitoring our polar bear population,
developing regulations to combat illegal polar bear hunting
and working with the Inuit to better understand polar bears.
We are still far from where we need to be.
A massive initiative is needed to combat global warming
and to keep the Arctic ice that polar bears
cold home from destruction.
Hudson’s Bay is home to a large population of polar bear.
And if you want to get up close and personal with them,
then you should watch Wildlife: Survival in the Ice Kingdom,
an episode of a nine part documentary series
that is streaming right now on CuriosityStream.
This episode follows a mother polar bear
as she emerges from her months long hibernation
and guides her adorable cub through his first year of life
in one of the harshest environments on the earth.
This episode really demonstrates the formidable strength of mother polar bears
and their harrowing journey for survival.
Also, it features quite possibly the cutest polar bear
I’ve ever seen.
This nine part documentary series covers a wide variety of amazing animals
from the Hokkaido red fox to comb-crested jacanas
to ring-tailed lemurs and many more.
CuriosityStream is a subscription streaming service
with a huge library of over 2000 documentaries
non-fiction titles and exclusive originals.
They have a lot of really beautiful nature documentaries
which if you like Animalogic I think you’ll love.
To watch Wildlife: Survival in the Ice Kingdom and support Animalogic,
go to curiositystream.com/animalogic
and claim your 30-day free trial with the promo code animalogic.
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Thanks for watching.
Polar Bears are Arctic apex predators that make home