Also known as a sea/ice bear, the polar bear is one of the largest land predators in the world. Polar bears are found in the Arctic regions as well as in Alaska in the United States and the nations of Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia. Although the hair of the polar bear often appears to be white, it actually is transparent. The white appearance is caused by light shining through the hair follicles, which essentially are clear, hollow tubes.
More facts about polar bears:
- The hair of a polar bear is oily and serves as a natural water repellent. This allows the bear to emerge from the water and shake off water in a manner similar to the way a dog shakes water off fur. Polar bears also can remove water from their pelts by dragging their bodies along the smooth surface of the ice.
- The front paws of the polar bear are wider than the back paws and include webbed toes. This helps the bears to swim with greater ease. Polar bears can swim as far as 100 miles (1,621 km) at a time.
- Seals are one of the primary sources of food for polar bears. A common hunting strategy is for the bear to wait on the ice near the breathing hole of the seal, then biting the seal’s head as it emerges from the water.