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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Polar Bear

In and around the Arctic Circle you will find the Ursus maritimus, better known as the polar bear. The polar bear is large in size similar to the Kodiak bear. The male polar bear weighs around 775 - 1,550 lbs the female bear is smaller in size. In addition, the polar bear has many body features that help them adapt to the cold temps in their environment

Polar bears move across snow, ice and open water and dine on seals. When seals are not available because the ice caps they live on are diminished the bears live off of fat that they had previously consumed. Climate changes have helped place the polar bears on the vulnerable species. Nonetheless the great white bear continues to thrive.

Polar bears are considered marine mammals because they spend many months at sea during the year. Their large limbs and feet are powerful and allow them to cover miles on foot and run on land.  This has mystified many cultures including the native Americans

Native Americans thought of the polar bear spirit as a powerful, dangerous and potentially revengeful spirit. The shaman often used the likeness of the polar bear on belts or pendants.  The tribes did hunt polar bear. The hunt was a dangerous one with much taboo about it as well. Perhaps the most feared was the period of days following the kill when the bears soul was thought to be evil causing illness and other distress.

Following the kill the hunter must not enter their home with any outer clothing on. For an entire month the hunter that captured the kill must not eat meat or blubber of the bear

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