Polar Bear
Ursus maritimus

f9 @ 1/1600 s, ISO: 500, Nikon D300S w 500 mm


"Polar Bear," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family, and most of its diet consists of ringed and bearded seals.The Arctic is home to millions of seals, which become prey when they surface in holes in the ice in order to breathe, or when they haul out on the ice to rest.Polar bears hunt primarily at the interface between ice, water, and air; they only rarely catch seals on land or in open water.The polar bear's most common hunting method is called still-hunting:The bear uses its excellent sense of smell to locate a seal breathing hole, and crouches nearby in silence for a seal to appear. When the seal exhales, the bear smells its breath, reaches into the hole with a forepaw, and drags it out onto the ice. The polar bear kills the seal by biting its head to crush its skull. The polar bear also hunts by stalking seals resting on the ice: Upon spotting a seal, it walks to within 100 yd (91 m), and then crouches. If the seal does not notice, the bear creeps to within 30 to 40 feet (9.1 to 12 m) of the seal and then suddenly rushes forth to attack. A third hunting method is to raid the birth lairs that female seals create in the snow.
Svalbard, Norway
 
08/10/2010