Description of Ursus maritimus
Ursus maritimus is one scientific name for the polar bear. These white bears are native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world\'s largest land carnivore along with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear. An adult male weighs around 350â680 kg (770â1,500 lb), while an adult female is about half that size. It can interbreed with the brown bear, leading some to conclude that this is not a separate species but falls inside Ursos arctos (brown or grizzly bears). Polar bears occupy a distinctive narrow ecological niche, well adapted to cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Polar bears can hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present. The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations in decline. For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous peoples, and polar bears remain important in their cultures.
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