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Introduction
Animal: Polar Bear


Why this animal?
The Animal I am going to be talking to you about is the artic polar bear. the reason why I like this animal is because i think this animal is the prettiest animal out of all the bears. it is also known as the largest bear in the bear family and are the largest land carnivore and I think thats really cool. I like the fact that this bear can live through some of the coldest weathers. I also love these animals because they are very playful, but also can be very dangerous.One thing i think is really cool is that they are the type of animal that is born on land but spend most of there time at sea searching for food. I think it is really fasinating how patient and smart polar bears are because they sit and wait for there pray to come out for the breathing hole. i think one sad thing about polar bears is how they are endangered and that just makes me think about them more. i love polar bears and think they are so pretty.




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Research Location

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The weather here is brutal, its my first day and im already tired of it. The winter is long and cold, and the summers are short and cool. The winters range from -58 F over larger parts of the Arctic. Summers range from 14 to 50 F, so it is never your lovely hot summer day. Some other things about the climate is some parts of the Arctic are covered in ice (sea ice, glacial ice) year around, almost all areas of the Arctic I have realized have some form of ice on there surfaces. Another point about the Arctics climate is that it is widely covered by large bodies of water. But I guess I am the only one to complain because it seems to me the animals here don't mind at all, like the Arctic Seal.The Arctic Seal is one of the many animals I am seeing here on my journey. This animal feeds mainly on squid, fish and penguins, so that is a for sure sign that those three animals must live in this area. Some other animals that live here are the Arctic Fox, Arctic Hare, the Arctic Tern, and other animals like the Caribou, Snowy Owl, Muskox, and the walrus.Those are just a few of the animals and I am sure there are many others. The vegetation in the arctic is very low, there is not a whole lot of it. Some of the vegetation is plants like Arctic Moss, over the years it has adapted very well to the cold, harm environment. Another type of plant that grows in the Arctic is the Arctic Willow it is a good plant for the area because it likes to live in cold, dry, open spaces. Some other interesting plants I have found on my trip have been Caribou Moss, Diamond-leaf willow, and Labrador tea. These are not plants you would see on a normal basis, unless you live in the Arctic but this is what I have found in my first few days spent in the Arctic. I've learned a lot about the arctic and its not just only the north pole places like Greenland are covered in ice sheets and places like Alaska have large, dense tundra areas. The more time I spend on the location the more I realize I am really only here for the animals. I know one thing this would not be my first choice for a vacation. Its winter here right now and it is about -29 F its freezing, I am making sure to stay extra warm because i don't want to have any chance of freezing my fingers off. I am excited that I got the chance to be here and learn so much, I just wish it was warmer.


Observation journals_ Naomi Frantz

external image polarbears_3.jpg Physical Adaptations DAY_1
This is the Polar Bear, it is one of the many endangered animals. But despite its endangerment it has some great physical adaptations.One of its best adaptations are that it is a fantastic swimmers, and can swim for several hours at a time.some of the reasons why they are such great swimmers is because their two front paws help them the propel through the water in a doggy-paddle style.One reason why they can swim for long periods of time is because of their thick blubber, its up to 11 cm thick. And another interesting fact about the polar bear is that when its underwater its nostrils close up.Those are just a few adaptations for why they are good swimmers but another adaptation is that they are great divers as well. The polar bear does not make deep dives, jut shallow dives while stocking its prey. And last but not least their fur. Polar bears have thick fur, tough hide, and lots of blubbler so they are always nice and warm.

Behavioral Adaptations
I think one very up setting point about the polar bear is that because of global warming polar bears have decided to start eating/killing each other. Some other behavioral points are that polar bears are and like to be mist active through out the first third of the day. One interesting thing about polar bears is they do not speak/talk to each other. The only forms of speaking is between cubs and their mothers and breeding pairs.One more behavioral thing i would like to cover is that polar bears are more likely to kill you then any other bear.I think one interesting thing about polar bears is they will lay down on the ice and listen for when seals re coming near and when they do the polar bear will catch them and kill them.

DAY_2 Basic Needs- Naomi
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Today I was out exploaring the great Arctic once again but this time i kept a close eye on the polar bears. I followed them around all day figuring out some of there basic needs and how they react to there biome. I learned a lot about the polar bear today and I am very excited to tell you about them. As i was following the polar bear around i found that they don't travel around in groups unless they have a cub, they find all there food for them and there cub. As i was watching them hunt for food I relized some of there techniques, one technique they perform when they are hunting is they will lay by a seals breathing hole and as the seal jumps out they will catch it with there paws. They have to be very quiet or the seals will not jump out. another thing i discovered through the day is that polar bears don't drink water. I thought this was very wierd so I wrote it down in a notebook for further observations. As i kept following the bears I found out they like to lay in the sun a lot, one physical adaptations is they have black skin so they can absorb has much heat from the sun as they can. One thing i have noticed is they are almost always hunting if not sleeping, they are eiather waiting, lying or sleeping. I have found they are very alert animals and have to be extremely quiet when you aare any where near them. Now of course me and my researchers were not just walking around the arctic we were using one of are monitoring techniques we use alot of the time. We were using snow cam and basically he would "stalk" around after the polar bears through out the day. But as snow cam was following him or her we ran into some trouble, the polar bear jumped into the water and started swimming. So we sent ice berg cam after him and found out that polar bears will spend a large amout of time in the water. One of my researches found out that they reported a polar bear swimming 50 miles away from the nearest shore. Polar bears amazing and I am so lucky to of had the chance to be able to explore these fantastic creatures. One more note, I had said earlier I would come back to explaining why polar bears don't drink water. To me it is over all a pretty simple reason and makes a lot of sence. Polar bears don't drink water because there are enough liquids in the foods they eat to keep them hydrated so they don't drink water. I think over all I have explained its day pretty clearly, Next day 3.

external image Polar-bears-natural-habitat-in-the-polar-ice.jpg Day_3 Behaviors- Naomi
Today was a very exciting day for me, I got to exploar and learn more about the polar bears behaviors. There are so many behaviors from the polar bear so today I will just share three (3). One of the most important behaviors of the polar bears are that they are solitary animals, unless they are caring for there cubs or when males and females are together for mating. which I find extremely interesting because there are tons of other animals out there who can not stand to be solitary. My next behavior has to do with there type of protection but also for food. OK so if two polar bears run into each other the smaller bear with run away, the mother cub on the other hand who has cubs will charge at males that are much larger for her to protect her and her cubs. I find it so amazing what a mother polar bear will do to protect her cubs. Now my last behavior I am going to cover is there activeness. Polar bears are inactive a large percent of the time 66.6% of the time they are either sleeping, lying or waiting (hunting). The rest of the time they are active so they are either walking or swimming and that would be the other 29.1% and then there are a few other things they do such as stalking prey (1.2%) and feeding (2.3%). Polar bears are fantastic swimmers and can swim for extremely long periods of time. I really hate to go so I am going to share a few more behaviors with you about the polar bears. Now this is probably the most important when it comes to people who think they would like to visit the polar bears. Polar bears are more willing to have a human as there next meal. Sadly the person who is attacked is usually killed unless the polar bear is killed first. So be super careful when you are around polar bears

external image polar_bear_on_melting_ce.jpg Day_4 Animal Relationships- Naomi
Today I was out and about and expirienced something amazing, a symbiotic relationship. Now i know, I know Naomi why are you freaking out about this these things happen all the time, and yes I know I just thought it was cool to be able to see it up close and personal. Now there are tons of examples but the one I saw today was commensalism and as you all know that is where one spieces benefits and the other is not affected. This I think is a very common one in the arctic because it is so hard to find food. Today as snow cam was skiing along we saw that a polar bear had just caught a seal, killed it, ate it, fed it to its cubs. Then they carried on through out there day, but we let snow cam sit there awhile near by the dead seals carcass. After awhile we saw and arctic fox come running up to the carcass and start eating. Now the reason I think this works for commensalism is because the polar bear and the arctic fox live in the same area, and after the polar bear was done with what it wanted and had left, the arctic fox could have as much of it as it wanted and it didn't bother the polar bears. It was amazing to be able to see something like this and I am so happy I did.



Wildlife Monitoring Technique

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I just became part of a new monitoring technique my researching lab is apart of right now. We have set up different types of cameras through out polar bear territory, and in some areas that are not polar bear territory. We have also set up cameras in the water and that cam would be Ice berg cam. Ice berg cam drifts and moves through out the water in search for polar bears. we have also set up cameras like Snow cam, which moves through the islands in search for polar bears as well. Another camera would be the Blizzard cam it can travel at speeds of 40 mph and is powered by propellers and gliding skies. On top of the Blizzard cam there are other cameras know as snow ball cams. They look like large snow balls and are worked like hamster balls. The Snow ball cam can work in weather that is 40 degrees below zero. They have one other camera and that is the drift camera, it lays and waits for movement. Now I want to get on to what the whole point is to us setting up these cameras. Spy cams are all used for the study of polar bears.
What they do is they receive us rare information we wouldn't be able to get any other way. They say that the cameras are almost indestructible and will not break but we actually have video of the polar bear putting so much pressure in the snow ball camera that it snaps in half. These are some of the most amazing techniques for monitoring an animal and I think they are very useful. I think one amazing thing is that they can just stop and sit there for days with out any movement and then when there is movement it can record everything. I am really glad they put me on the job for monitoring these animals I feel as if I just keep on learning and I can't wait to learn more. I think one thing when inventing these cameras was a very good investment was that the put snow ball cam on top of blizzard cam and then blizzard cam can drop snow ball cam at any given time. Now even though they say these things are really stong it just goes to show you how strong the polar bear really is. There is video of snow cam being crushed by a male polar bear. We also have video of a mother bear destroying one of the cams to protect her cub. I think it is just amazing to see what a mother bear will do to protect its cubs. I am off for my next check on the cams see you later.

Fellow Researchers Profile
My fellow researchers profile is going to be a little bit different then others. Due to the fact that the one lady with the name of Lily Peacock who I had email never replied back. So I have decided with the help of Mrs. Bride that i am going to review one of the articles from another polar bear researcher. The article had many people involved with it but the first name was George M. Durner. George wrote about the consequences from long-distance swimming for the female polar bear. What he was covering was that all the research saying polar bears can travel long distances is true but it never mentioned anything about problems polar bears may face after. George explains how in October of 2008 they have information/data on a female polar bear swimming for 9 days straight about 687km. they mention how the polar bear lost 22% of her body mass and her yearling cub. they found out that swimming in arctic waters for long periods of time is extremely dangerous and with/can result in consequence when it comes to reproducing. this is very interesting to me and I am very glad I got the chance to review this article. i am going to try to compare myself to the researcher here now. I think the main thing we have in common is that we both have been doing research on polar bears. He is known for the research he found on the female polar bear swimming through waters, i had read a lot about polar bears being able to swim for long distances but I never knew before now about the affects it has. to me Mr Durner and I have more contrast then anything.

Using the Research- Naomi


Bibliography
"Polar Discovery :: Arctic Location and Geography." Polar Discovery. Polar Discovery, 2006. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://polardiscovery.whoi.edu/arctic/geography.html>.



"Polar Bears." SeaWorld/Busch Gardens ANIMALS. SeaWorld, 2002. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/polarbears/pbbehavior.html>.


"Polar Bears International - Polar Bear Research - Polar Bear Education." Polar Bears International. Polar Bears International, 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/>.


"Animals." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, 1998. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://library.thinkquest.org/3500/animals.htm>.