Polar Bears, Ursus maritimus
Polar bears frequent coastal areas and pack ice, especially where ice meets water, as these areas provide fertile hunting grounds. Though polar bears are excellent swimmers and spend much of their lives in or near water -- enough that they are classified as marine mammals, rather than terrestrial mammals -- they do not always see the need to actually get in the water. Why get wet when you can simply jump over the lead? This pair of bears, though roughly the same size, is in reality a mother (jumping) and her two-year-old male cub. Cubs stay with their mothers for 2-3 years, learning the skills they will need to survive in their hostile environment -- including when to jump and when to swim.
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"Nature is art brought to life: often beautiful and inspiring, always fragile and in need of loving care" -- Jodi Gaylord
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