Svalbard, Norway

Impressive Polar bear stands on a large rock, while he looks to the camera. That apex predator looks quite dirty. Usually, we see these magnificent animals with a shiny white coat of fur.


copyright Anette Mossbacher, 7 April, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D X and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Exposure time: 1/500s
  • ISO: 3200
  • Focal Length: 365mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 5184 by 3456 pixels (WxH).

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Massive Polar bear on the large rock looks directly into the camera. That apex predator is quite dirty since there is no snow to roll in. This Polar bear climbs through the cliffs. Another Polar bear followed, which was just as messy. Usually, we see these animals with a shiny white coat of fur. As shown above, this is not always the case in reality.

Some walruses and a few Polar bears took over this island on Svalbard. Now it is their home for a while. The Polar bear on this large rock was, of course, on the search for food. A walrus herd was just beneath, which some other bears had a look at them as well. A walrus would be an excellent meal for a Polar bear. They need at least 2 kilograms of fat per day to survive. Walrus fat would be just right for a delicious meal. Sometimes Polar bears capture young walruses to feed on.

When hungry, that bear eats any animal, including us. From reindeers to human garbage, from vegetation to birds. Remember, as shown above, they can climb pretty well like other bears! They also scavenge on carcasses of whales or walruses.

Some facts:

  • The apex predator often washes in water or snow. The Polar bear on the large rock had no snow, but it had water!
  • They can climb up large rocks, even cliffs.
  • In wintertime, they hibernate.
  • That predator uses sea ice as a platform to hunt.
  • Half their life they spend hunting.

Polar bears, Ursus maritimus, are listed under threatened wildlife on the IUCN website. Please explore as well as our beautiful Arctic landscape photographs.

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