Life Cycle of a Polar Bear

Critical Evaluation Essay Introduction

The polar bear lives in the polar regions of Earth, and it is adapted to inhabiting the icy regions. The animal lives a solitary life, spending most of the active time hunting and looking for food. Polar bears come together during the mating season and part immediately when the period is over. The life cycle of a polar bear begins at birth. The cub is born deaf, blind, toothless, and covered with fur. The height of the cub ranges from twelve to fourteen inches at birth. The polar bear mother can give birth to a single cub, twins or triplets. The young polar bear initially feeds on the mother’s milk and grows under the watchful sight of the mother in the den. The mother’s milk is rich in nutrients that are essential for faster growth of the cubs. A baby polar bear is also called a coy. The cub will remain with the mother in the den until the mother determines that it is safe for the cub to be taken out.

 

Critical Evaluation Essay Body Paragraphs

The second stage of development begins with a journey to the ice sea where the mother will continue to feed the cubs with its milk and introduce them to the seafood. The mother bear teaches the cub life skills of hunting, playing and other activities. At the age of one year, the cub will be less reliant on the mother and can be weaned. The cub will start feeding on its own, learning to be alone, and will continue learning hunting techniques, self-defense and ways of survival. Despite the protection from the mother, the cubs can die through being eaten by aggressive male polar bears, wolves or as a result of starvation (Stewart, Claphan, Powel. And Reeves, 2002).

The baby bears remain under the care of the mother until the age of about two years when the mother will chase them away to fend for themselves and live their own independent lives. The sub-adults share their food for a few weeks or months before they part ways. A cub will be considered a bear at the age of four to six years. At this age, the bear can breed, and courtship takes place for one or two weeks while mating multiple times. The male polar bears fight fiercely for the mating rights. A male bear will always protect the female from other potential mates. Once the heat period is over, the male and female separate. The gestation period is eight months, and the last month is spent preparing the den where a female bear will give birth. The den is a snowdrift curved inside the snow.

When a mother bear gives birth, it hibernates for a few months while nursing the cubs. During the time of hibernation, the female polar bear will reduce its heartbeat to twenty-seven beats per minute from the usual forty-six. Before hibernation, the female bear will ensure that they feed heavily to store sufficient food for the period that will be spent nursing the young cubs. The mother bear gives birth about once in every three years. The process of reproduction goes on for the rest of their lives. The life expectancy of the polar bears is between fifteen to eighteen years, but some live up to thirty years. (Regehr, Hunter, Caswell, Amstrup and Stirling, 2010)

Critical Evaluation Essay Conclusion

The male bear does hibernate and spends its time hunting for food. The main targets of their food hunting are the seals, walruses and sometimes whales. The polar bear spends winter in the sea hunting, and the summer period on the land. The polar bears are not greatly affected by disease but are susceptible to parasitic roundworms. The main cause of death is usually starvation.

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