The polar bear
) is a bear
native largely within the Arctic circle
encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore
and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak bear
, which is approximately the same size.
An adult male weighs around 350-680 kg (770-1,500 lb),
while an adult female is about half that size. Although it is closely related to the brown bear
, it has evolved to occupy a narrow ecological niche
with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for
moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals
which make up most of its diet.
Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea (hence their scientific name meaning "maritime
bear") and can hunt consistently only from sea ice
, so spend much of the year on the frozen sea.
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