Polar bears spend most of their lives on the ice, and some polar bears rarely travel to land since birth. But scientists have recently discovered that some animals living in the Arctic waters can move freely between ice and water like polar bears, and they are nimble. Their forepaws are as large as oars, making them ideal for ice walking and thin ice swimming.
Pregnant female polar bears generally leave the ice in September and October to live on coastal land and give birth to cubs. But if the mother polar bear finds out that the cubs aren't finding food they like, she may have left the cubs on the ice. Because the Arctic is cold and dry, pups are prone to frostbite or even death.
When the cubs can move, the mother polar bear takes them back to life on the ice.
This is the peculiar way of life of polar bears. Female beasts will reach land for a short period during the breeding period. After birth, male beasts almost always spend their time on ice, and never set foot on land again in this life.
Global warming is affecting polar bears' lifestyles. To adapt to this environmental change, polar bears have to migrate from the Arctic to the mainland to spend the winter. However, many difficulties and problems were encountered during the migration, such as: How to find food? How can I transfer my habitat? How to survive the winter safely and more.
In the past, only some polar bears near the edge of the Arctic Circle and coastlines were forced to live on land for several months due to summer temperatures and melting ice.
Polar bears also often use these months to hoard a lot of fat until the sea freezes again and they return to the ice. This habit of polar bears is known as the "snow ice storage" effect. Scientists believe that the melting of the Arctic ice is one of the main reasons for the phenomenon of polar bears.
Because polar bears live in the ocean for a long time, they are very sensitive to seawater. However, global warming is causing the seas to thaw longer and polar bears to stay on land longer, and polar bears are starting to land on land more frequently.
Polar bears are the main predators in nature. In the polar bear's diet, meat accounts for 98.5%, and most of them are obtained through hunting. Carrion is only a small part of the polar bear's diet. Polar bears eat a wide variety of food, including both plants and animals.
In the Arctic region, in addition to crops, there are also a large number of wild animals, such as snow rabbits, sea otters, and so on. For polar bears, the main prey is sealed, followed by beluga whales, walruses, seabirds, fish, and small mammals.
Polar bears prey on seals very cleverly. They have a very keen sense of smell and can capture the smell of a radius of 1 km or 1 meter under ice and snow. With their strong sense of smell, polar bears can easily find the breathing holes in the seals, and then lie beside them and wait quietly, waiting for the seals to float up to breathe fresh air before killing them.
However, global warming has made polar bears less reliant on ice floes, and seals have become more difficult to capture, so they have to change their prey targets and focus on certain land mammals.
There seems to be a delicate balance between polar bears and seals: if polar bears want to survive in the Arctic, they must learn to hunt other animals; otherwise, they can only rely on their own strength to maintain population stability. What's going on here? Polar bears are being found increasingly preying on reindeer.
When polar scientists first took pictures of polar bears hunting reindeer in Svalbard, Norway, an adult polar bear drove the reindeer into the sea to drown, and then dragged the reindeer carcass ashore to eat. The whole process was very efficient.
The reason why reindeer is the main target of polar bears after the change of predatory habits is related to the growth of the reindeer's own population. For the past 30 years, reindeer have been one of the most important hunted objects in Canada.
In arctic countries, reindeer are generally considered one of the most dangerous animals. With reindeer hunting banned, reindeer numbers are rapidly increasing, and polar bear encounters are naturally more likely.