What is the cause and effect of behavioral adaptations in polar bears?

The cause of behavioral adaptations in polar bears is the cold, harsh environment in which they live. The effect of these adaptations is survival.

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Polar bears live in an extremely harsh, cold environment on the tundra, and this is one of the primary causes for both the physical and behavioral adaptations the species has made. Polar bears have thick, white fur to keep them warm and help them blend into their environment as well rough paws that help them walk on ice. A layer of fat allows them to swim in icy cold water even for hours at a time.

Unlike other bears, polar bears usually do not hibernate during the winter (since in their environment, it is almost always winter). Only mother bears hibernate to give birth to their cubs in the safety of a den, where the cubs can be warm and have a better chance of surviving and growing a bit before they enter into the cold environment. Polar bears are still able to use their body fat for energy during times of food shortages.

Further, polar bears tend to be solitary animals. Food is often scarce in their habitat, and there would not be enough to go around if bears traveled in groups. What's more, polar bears are not territorial, so they have access to prey no matter where they go, although polar bears can get aggressive during mating season and if they are protecting cubs.

The ultimate affect of all of these physical and behavioral adaptations is survival. Polar bears have had to adjust over time in order to live in their cold environment and cope with the minimal resources that habitat provides.

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