After mating, the fertilised egg doesn't begin growing until August or September. During these four months, the female must consume excessive amounts of food, gaining at least 200 kilos or 440 pounds and often more than doubling her body weight. This is in preparation for the seven to eight months during which time implantation occurs and growth begins and she prepares a maternity den where she will give birth and wean her cubs. This maternity den protects her vulnerable newborn cubs from the harsh winter temperatures. Usually, she will make her den on land, within 16 km (10 Miles) from the coast. The den is well executed. The entrance slopes upward for six or seven feet, which opens up to a sizeable living quarters. The mothers body heat ensures the den reaches up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit 20 centigrade. A ventilation hole will be created to let stale air out and provide fresh air into the den. Trampled down snow scraped from the roof, acts as a fresh floor covering. The mother bear will remain in the den without food, and she will neither urinate nor defacate until the end of March or so.
"AMAZING POLAR BEAR FACTS" After mating, the fertilised egg doesn't begin growing for around four months
In the den, these helpless cubs are born deaf, blind and toothless, with a covering of fuzzy wool except for the pads of their paws and their nose. Most adult females give birth once every three years, where twins are most common, although singlets and triplets do occur, with quadruplets in rare cases. The cubs are born November through to January. Their sickle-shaped claws, assist them in working their way down their mother's fur to suckle on her rich, creamy, cod liver oil flavoured milk, which is highly calorific being around 31% fat. The cubs weigh around a 1lb (0.5 kg) each, but growth is rapid and in less than a month, they hear their first sounds. A week later, their eyes open. Mother and cubs emerge from the den in late March, or April. She will lead them on a long trek to the pack ice, where she can again hunt seals. Here, the real training begins.
Once two and a half years have passed, she has taught them all they need to know about hunting and surviving in one of the earths harshest environments and now she abandons them. The cubs are on their own.
The contents of this web page and all pages
connecting to it as part of this site are protected by international copyright.
No portion of this site may be reproduced without expressed written consent
of JR Cross