Polar Bear

Text by Liz McKenzie      Photos and Sounds by Richard Nelson


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Polar Bear
To listen to polar bears growl, move cursor over bottom of slide, then click on the play arrow.

The Sea Bear

Imagine a creamy-white mountain moving gracefully across a frozen sea. Imagine a land mammal morphing over time into a marine mammal—now with a thick insulating layer of fat for protection against frigid arctic cold, and hollow hairs that trap air to keep it warm and buoyant in freezing water.
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Traditional Knowledge: Genius on Ice

Indigenous people of the arctic have lived in close contact with polar bears for thousands of years. Theirs is a remarkable and unlikely relationship, in which each is sometimes prey to the other.
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White Bears and a Warming Arctic

In the summer of 2008, a seven year old female polar bear (with a radio collar) left the coast near Barrow, Alaska and began an epic journey to reach the sea ice—she swam continuously for 9 days, covering a distance of 450 miles, without rest.
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Lesson Plans and Activities

Anthropologist and writer Richard Nelson recorded and produced three programs as part of the Encounters radio series about polar bears. Each can be the focus of a separate class. Alternatively, the three can be taught together in a single unit, in conjunction with other resources on this website.
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