The Svalbard Polar Bear
Polar bears appear to be white, but underneath all that fur they’re actually black! The fur itself is translucent, so it looks white as it reflects the light of the Arctic ice. Unlike their land cousins, polar bears are classified as marine animals. This is because they spend most of their time not on solid land, but on the frozen flats of sea ice where their food supplies are found.
Polar bears have an extraordinary sense of smell. They can smell prey from over a kilometre away; this comes in handy when they need to find the breathing holes used by seals. Their sense of smell is so keen, they can even detect a seal when it’s a metre under the compacted ice and snow. A polar bear will wait a long time for a seal to come up for air!
Polar bears are always seen above ground, but they can actually swim for days at a time to reach another ice flat. They have very large paws to help them swim, while their hind legs act as a rudder. They can reach speeds of 10 kilometres per hour over long distances.