The polar bear is a species of bear that is native to within the Arctic Circle. Polar bears are a large species of bear compared to a number of their related cousins and are of a similar size to the Kodiak bear. Unlike many other species of bear, polar bears are hyper carnivorous, meaning that their diet consists of mostly meat. This is unsurprising considering there is little plant life in their native habitats. Their preferred food is seal, particularly young seals, which can often be found buried in the snow in their burrows. Polar bears can also hunt seals on land although they are at a disadvantage when hunting in the ocean as their bodies are better suited to land.
Polar bears are currently listed as Threatened on the IUCN Red List, largely due to habitat destruction. As polar bears are dependent on large land masses of ice, as well as the other animals who live in the same environment, they are particularly susceptible to global warming and climate change. A number of charities are dedicated to preventing climate change in order to preserve the marine like that is dependent on arctic land masses.
Polar bears have been hunted in the past as their fur works as an excellent insulator for clothing and boots. Large-scale hunting was stopped as a response to their categorisation of Vulnerable and as a result populations have begun to rebound, although this may change if climate change becomes unstoppable.
Polar bears have been a key feature of the mythologies and folklore of circumpolar people and remain so today. Polar bears also feature on a number of flags and seals, such as the coat of arms of the Greenlandic Self-Rule government, as well as appearing on some of the older versions of Greenland’s currency notes.