Topic: Newsela for January
The polar bear
Polar bears are large white bears. They live mostly on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. Their fur is thick and covers a layer of fat. Under their fur, their skin is black so as to better absorb the sun's warmth. Even their paws have fur to protect their feet from freezing on the ice. Polar bears are between 7 and 8 feet long and weigh from 900 to 1,600 pounds. They mostly eat seals but also eat carrion, the decaying flesh of dead animals. The Polar bears are at the top of the food chain in the Arctic. Other than humans, they have no natural predators. The bear is a powerful swimmer and they use their back legs to steer them. They can travel as far as 200 miles over a period of about 10 days. Such long swims are sometimes necessary in summer months when sea ice retreats. Female polar bears dig dens in snow drifts. This is where they give birth to cubs in winter. Cubs stay with their mothers for more than two years. Male polar bears do not help raise the cubs and in some cases might even kill them.
The main threat to polar bears is global warming. The Arctic is very sensitive to climate change. Bears rely on sea ice to hunt seals. If more ice melts in summer months because of climate change, bears will not be able to hunt seals during this time. As a result, they might be forced onto land.
This is a topic that I found very interesting because I may not be able to directly help, them but I could always help people understand what is happening.