Polar Bears

Submit a 2750 words paper on the topic Exploring a Specific Biogeographical Question: Polar Bears. Biogeography entails the study of both past and present distribution of different species in the world. It focuses on the assessment of the physical environment and its effects on species and their distribution on earth through studies of taxonomy and biomesThe evolution of polar bears provided them with unique characteristics and features that enable it only to survive in the arctic regions and not in any other part of the natural world. Thus, this is referred to as endemism and provides answers to various questions concerning the uneven distribution of species in the world.The polar bear is a carnivorous bear with a scientific name Ursus maritimus meaning the maritime bear. It is native to the Arctic Circle that encompasses the Arctic Ocean, the surrounding seas as well as surrounding landmasses. The polar bear is large with approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear. An adult male polar bear (boar) approximately weighs from 350 – 700 kilograms while an adult female (sow) is half the weight of the male bear (Allen, 2013). The polar bear has evolved and currently occupies a narrow ecological niche despite being a sister species of the brown bear. Thus, through evolutionary divergence, the polar bear has adapted to cold temperatures, moving across snow, open water, and ice as well as adapting to hunting and consuming the seals, which constitute a large part of its diet (Allen, 2013).The most striking observation is that many polar bears are born on land but spend much of their time living in sea thus the reason for its scientific name maritimus referring to maritime. Since seals comprise the preferred food for the polar bears, it hunts for it from the boundaries of sea ice. However, in case there are no sea ices, polar bears depend on their fat reserves for energy and this ensures its survival when there is no food (Bodden, 2010). Large-scale hunting of the polar bear that has occurred for decades led to its classification as vulnerable species since eight of its nineteen subpopulations were in decline.

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