In Iron LyonsEdit
No Polari have appeared in Iron Lyons yet.
The polar bear is classified as a marine mammal as much of it's livelihood and life is spent at sea. It is a large specimen, similar to the Kodiak bear in size, and the sister species to the brown bear. It is found in the Artic circle and land masses to the south of Newfoundland. Worldwide, they number in the thirty-thousands. There are nineteen subspecies of Polar bear, with almost half of them being very much not well known.
Male Polar bears can weigh anywhere between 700 to 1600 pounds, with the largest male on record being 2000 pounds (who stood 11 feet when mounted). The females on the other hand are only half of this weight - 330 to 550 pounds - making the polar bear one of the most sexually dimorphic species of mammal on the planet. A pregnant female, however, can weight about a ton, heavier than the average 800 pound male.
Polar bears are distinctive from other ursine animals chiefly for their white fur, which yellows with age. Male's have shaggier fur, particularly on the forelegs, which serves a similar function to a lions mane: attracting females. They also have more elongated skulls and bodies and short tails. Their claws are scooped and made for digging and more injuries on the right arm in captured and captive specimens indicate right-handedness in most bears.
A highly carnivorous creature, it's 42 teeth are jagged, moreso than any other bear. They prey on seals, and prefer the blubber to the meat. Cubs, though, prefer the meat. Subadult bears, too young to hunt properly but too old to hang around their mothers, will scavenge. If they are successful at hunting, though, they typically lose their kills to older, stronger adult bears. The best hunters can kill a male Walrus, even though those animals may be twice their weight. This is rarely attempted. Polar bears are very flexible when it comes to food and will consume everything from crabs, rodents, cervines, and even other Polar bears.
Polar bears are excellent swimmers and can swim for several days, six miles a day, in which they would lose about 20% of their insulating fate. They lumber when they walk but can reach 25 mph when they run.
Compared to other bears, Polar bears are rather even-tempered. They aren't territorial and prefer to flee from a fight. A Polar bear must be severely provoked or hungry before it attacks another animal. Polar bears are solitary, but when they do meet, encounters are likely to be friendly. Bears, even a pair of males, will play with each other and even sleep in an embrace.
Mating season begins in April and May, where bears congregate and compete in seal-hunting areas. Males will follow a female in season for up to sixty miles and fight off any other males who have done the same before breeding with her after the mating ritual. Polar bears are not monogamous and occasionally one litter will have several fathers. The fertilized eggs of a Polar bear remain in a suspended state until August or September, in which the female will double her weight by consuming massive amounts of food.
Female bears give birth in a maternity den, which has three chambers and is made under ice or in the permafrost. Cubs are completely helpless, weighing less than two pounds when they are born. They are typically born in pairs. Mother bears do not eat from February to April, allowing their cubs to feed on their nutrient rich milk and losing much of the mass they gained. The mother then breaks open to entrance to the den and begins eat vegetation while the cubs walk and play. When this is all gone, she and her cubs begin the long wall to the sea where she can again hunt seals.
Mother Polar bears are particularly valorous and affectionate with their children and will even adopt orphaned cubs. Adult males, however, are opportunistic predators and will kill and consume an unattended polar bear cub. At two and half years, a mother will chase away or simply abandon her progeny, in which they begin their solitary lives as adults.
Polar bears are very resistant to many diseases and parasites. Roundworms can be contracted in those individuals that practice cannibalism, but it usually isn't fatal. Polars also have extended interactions with Artic Foxes which often carry rabies, but there is only one documented case of a rabid polar bear. Skin diseases caused by mites can occur as well as the fur turning green from accumulated algae in the guard hairs.
The life expectancy of a Polar is around 25 years and they rarely live past this. The oldest wild bear was a female who manages 43 years. The oldest male was just 32. The common cause of death in polar bears is starvation, due to injuries, poor hunting ability thanks to their injuries or old age.