A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear
A fascinating, up-close look at virtually everything interesting, important, or culturally relevant about the birth, life, and death of the polar bear.
Polar bears are creatures of paradox.
They are white bears whose skin is black, massive predators that can walk almost silently, Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool. Fully grown they can measure ten feet in length and close to 2,000 pounds, but at birth they weigh just twenty ounces. Creatures that may wander thousands of miles over the course of a year, they begin life in a snowdrift. The world’s largest land carnivores, they are officially classified as marine mammals. But they are, above all, incontrovertibly, creatures of the ice. Without sea ice and the life it supports, polar bears cannot survive.
According to scientific predictions, if warming continues at its present pace, summer sea ice could disappear entirely from the Arctic Ocean by the year 2040. If that happens, the polar bear - one of the most recognisable animals on the planet - could be extinct within a generation.
“Ice Bear joins the dots of this unfolding drama at the top of the world, showing why polar bears are much more than majestic and charming adornments to the planet.”
“Kieran Mulvaney has written numerous polar-related book and in this one he sheds some light on this odd animal, concentrating on two bears living around Hudson Bay in Canada and following them from their charming infancy through to full adulthood. On the way there is much to be learnt.”
“The excellent book - a blend of natural history and personal reflection - is full of profound observations about one of the world's most telegenic yet threatened mammals”
BBC History Magazine