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08-Jul-2017 13:50

Research of injury patterns in polar bear forelimbs found injuries to the right forelimb to be more frequent than those to the left, suggesting, perhaps, right-handedness.

Unlike the brown bear, polar bears in captivity are rarely overweight or particularly large, possibly as a reaction to the warm conditions of most zoos.

While they are rare north of 88°, there is evidence that they range all the way across the Arctic, and as far south as James Bay in Canada.

Their southernmost range is near the boundary between the subarctic and humid continental climate zones.

Their scientific name means "maritime bear" and derives from this fact.

Polar bears 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 found in the Arctic Circle and adjacent land masses as far south as Newfoundland.

Due to the absence of human development in its remote habitat, it retains more of its original range than any other extant carnivore.

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although the latest research is based on analysis of the complete genomes (rather than just the mitochondria or partial nuclear genomes) of polar and brown bears, and establishes the divergence of polar and brown bears at 400,000 years ago.Elsewhere, a slightly larger estimated average weight of 260 kg (573 lb) was claimed for adult females.The claws are deeply scooped on the underside to assist in digging in the ice of the natural habitat.The 42 teeth of a polar bear reflect its highly carnivorous diet.

The hollow guard hairs of a polar bear coat were once thought to act as fiber-optic tubes to conduct light to its black skin, where it could be absorbed; however, this hypothesis was disproved by a study in 1998.

rather than indicating that they have only recently diverged, the new evidence suggests more frequent mating has continued over a longer period of time, and thus the two bears remain genetically similar.