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Author Topic: Could polar bears and penguins switch places?  (Read 2312 times)

Offline engrByDayPianstByNight

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Could polar bears and penguins switch places?
« on: 16/10/2010 04:23:10 »
I'm wondering if polar bears and penguins could switch their places and still live and populate. Why or why not?


 

Offline Don_1

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Could polar bears and penguins switch places?
« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2010 12:26:41 »
As far as weather conditions are concerned I doubt it would be a great problem, though Arctic and Antarctic temperatures are quite different. But there would be a problem in so far as land mass and food are concerned.

The Arctic circle has a very considerable dry land mass surrounding it, while the antarctic circle has no land mass around it.

The shortage of a non frozen summer land mass would pose problems for the Polar Bear's reproduction. With suitable cub rearing areas at a premium, the bears would be in too close proximity to each other for comfort.

Then there would be the food problem. Of the 35 species of seal, the Polar Bear's main food source, only 6 are native to Antarctica and of these 3 are huge, the Leopard, Ross and Elephant seals. Taking a Leopard seal might be somewhat more difficult than a Fur seal (though there are Fur seals in Antarctica). But for Polar Bear, the biggest problem might be the thickness of the ice sheets, which in some parts of Antarctica can be up to 2.5 kilometers, the bears need relatively thin ice for the hunting of seals using blow holes.

The Penguins would have a problem with lack of sea. With so much of the Arctic circle surrounded by the land mass of Northern Asia, Europe and America, it narrows down the available feeding grounds, which off Antarctica are almost boundless.

« Last Edit: 16/10/2010 12:29:00 by Don_1 »
 

Offline engrByDayPianstByNight

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Could polar bears and penguins switch places?
« Reply #2 on: 17/10/2010 00:28:02 »
Thanks for the excellent explanation.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Could polar bears and penguins switch places?
« Reply #2 on: 17/10/2010 00:28:02 »

 

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