Distribution & Location
Polar bears are found throughout the circumpolar Artic. Polar Bears' tracks have been reported almost as far north as the pole; however, scientists believe few bears frequent areas north of 88degrees north latitude on the ice over the continental shelf. The northern Arctic Ocean has little food for them. The Polar Bears' southern range is limited by the amount of sea ice that forms in the winter. Polar Bears prefer to travel on sea ice and must have ice from which to hunt seals. The majority of Polar Bears are found near land masses around the edge of the polar basin, where the continental shelf makes conditions ideal for hunting.
Polar Bears thrive in Arctic conditions because this is where their food sources are, and their bodies are made to handle the harsh Arctic conditions, even the winter one. Polar Bears spend a great deal of their time in the Arctic Ocean hunting and searching for food. In the winter months they walk on the ice and look for seals and in the summer months they wait on the shore for them. Polar Bears know how to use the climate and the land conditions to their benefit when hunting for seals. They will walk on an ice floe (a sheet of floating ice) and look for holes or cracks in the ice. Since seals have to breathe at some time, the Polar Bears wait there for a seal to come up for a breath. There are also other areas of the Arctic Ocean that do not freeze, polynyas, these are also great areas for the polar bear to find its favorite food, seals.
"Polar Bears- Habitat & Distribution." POLAR BEARS- Habitat & Distributio. Seaworld, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. <http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/polar-bear/habitat-&-distribution.htm>.