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Canada's Species   Mammals

Polar Bear

Ursus maritimus

Photo:David R. Gray, Canadian Museum of Nature
Polar Bear. Photo:David R. Gray, Canadian Museum of Nature

As the name would suggest, polar bears are limited to the northernmost regions of North America. Polar bears are distinctly yellowish-white in color which provides them with excellent camouflage in the winter and fall. The skin of the polar bear is black, which helps the polar bear absorb as much warm sunlight as possible. Polar bears are carnivorous and will eat meat throughout the year. They feed on fish, marine mammals, invertebrates such as shrimp, and carrion. Due to the increasing presence of humans in the north, meetings between polar bears and humans have become more frequent as the bears have been forced to share their habitat. Polar bears hibernate from mid-November until March, when they emerge with their cubs.

Map of Polar Bear in Canada
Distribution of Polar Bear in Canada

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