Live webcam showing Polar bears in the tundra exhibit at the Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen, the Netherlands.
Polar bears live in the Northern Hemisphere and are found in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. Male polar bears may weigh up to 1,500 pounds and the females are smaller at around 600 pounds.
Polar bears are thought to have evolved from brown bears close to 110,000 years ago. They have special adaptations for living in an icy environment, including, a dense fur coat and up to 6 inches of insulating fat covering their body. The rough papillae on their foot pads give extra traction and their long claws help stop them slipping on the ice.
Polar bears are completely dependent upon sea ice for their survival and for their food supply of seals. They hunt and catch seals by waiting for them to appear at their breathing holes in the ice and by stalking them sunbathing on the ice surface.
When the summer arrives and the sea ice retreats, polar bears head towards land to live out the ice free season. During this time, they can go for long periods without eating, surviving mostly off of the fat they accumulated over the winter by eating seal blubber. The females may go without food for four to eight months during the time they enter their den, give birth and arrive back at the sea ice again in the spring.