Who in group predatory the largest? Polar bear!Though the Arctic (from a Greek “Arktos“ - a bear) is obliged by the name to northern constellations of Big and Small She-bears, today it is associated with bears live. Polar bears are the real polar nomads who on the continent come seldom. The most part of the life they drift on ice floes, at times reaching nearly North Pole.
“A she-bear lullaby“ (from m - f “Umka“):
We float on an ice floe,
As on a brigantine
By the gray-haired severe seas.
I all night long neighbors, Star bears
to the distant ships. cases when ice floes with polar bears drifted even to Hugo - the East of Greenland where they thawed Are known to
, dooming many clumsy to death. Sometimes brought animals still to the south - for example, to the Japanese island of Hokkaido...
More - less constant “apartments“ polar bears arrange only in the winter when the posterity comes to get term. By the way, in connection with severe living conditions and a long growing there is it only once in three years. The dens - rodiln of a female equip on northern islands (about - in Wrangel, Franz`s archipelago - Iosif). During this period usually unsociable animals form dense congestions - for example, 180 - 200 she-bears gather on Wrangel Island.
Having dug out a den in the thickness of snow, the female plunges into a certain similarity of a light slumber (the real hibernation it is impossible to call it), during which gives birth a two-three tiny 600 - 800 - gram bear cubs. The difference in sizes between newborns and parents impresses, polar bears are the largest representatives of group predatory (to 1000 kg of weight and 3 m of length).
In spite of the fact that a polar bear - the closest relative of a bear brown (they can even be crossed), it is impossible to confuse them. And not only from - for colors 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 weakly.
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 to snowy - to ice open spaces. If polar explorers are stuck together by “Whiteout“, then the bear, on the contrary, very badly sees, being on the usual earth.
Very eloquently and the Latin name of a polar bear - Ursus Maritimus which is translated as “a sea bear“. Really, this predator greatly floats - separate individuals were met for one hundred kilometers from the next ice floe or sushi. Except a full mekhoizolyation (wool covers all body of a bear - even soles and auricles), rescues a solid grease layer from cold water of an animal. The bear with open eyes dives, but densely squeezes ear openings and nostrils.
At the same time the main diet of this predator is made at all not by fish, and various species of seals - animals large, fat and nutritious. In hunting for Pinnipedia the bear relies not only upon the power, but also upon a sensitive scent (he feels a smell of the burned fat for 6 km) and dexterity. Having guessed and having noticed on the bank of a seal, the clumsy giant practically on - plastoon creeps to the victim, without forgetting to cover with paws black 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. Once some seal wants to breathe fresh air, the powerful blow of a sharp-clawed paw falls upon her head. Happens that the ice-hole is less than seal, but it to a bear not a hindrance. Its force is enough 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 he looks for likes to hunt, digging out snow.
The only thing pinniped 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 happens in water). Sometimes the duel came to an end with “draw“, and then people found two linked corpses. Researchers noticed that even on rookeries walruses do not panic, having caught sight of a bear, and that, in turn, usually does not decide to attack in open.
Polar bears have no natural enemies in the Arctic, they see people seldom therefore they treat the last without special fear. These predators are extremely curious and wish to visit warehouses of polar explorers, as required. Similar visits are equally dangerous both to people, and to bears. Though in reality of the tragedy happen seldom. For example, since 1930 - x till 1967 in the USSR only nine such precedents were recorded (from them four - with death).
The first skins of a polar bear, or “óřęó˙“ (as he was called in Russia), the Russian hunters began to bring in the XII-XIII century. Even earlier Eskimos began to hunt this of a predator. To fill up a bear by means of a knife or a harpoon it is not so easy, in hunting detection of the victim was considered as the most difficult. If spoke about any Eskimo boy: “It killed the first bear“, it, as a rule, meant that the boy the first saw it. Found a bear also the skin got.
When the number of polar predators sharply declined, hunting began to be forbidden or limited on them. For example, in the Soviet Union hunting for polar bears was completely forbidden in 1956.
We will talk about the remained six types of family of bear in following - the last article of a cycle.