Photographer's Note

Showing no fear of the National Geographic Explorer, this polar bear gave us only a brief study as he walked along his ice island. The polar bear evolved from the brown bear who turned to the sea to hunt for seals 150 - 200,000 years ago. Feet turned inward and an aerodynamic shaped head help him swim while black skin helps him retain heat. Polar bears feast in the winter months when there is plenty of Arctic ice to stealthily hunt their favorite food, seals. Unfortunately, naturalists predict a 30% decline in the polar bear population over the next 30 years as sea ice recedes.

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