The Great White Bear: A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear

The Great White Bear A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear Polar bears are creatures of paradox They are white bears whose skin is black massive predators who can walk almost silently Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm but keeping cool

  • Title: The Great White Bear: A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear
  • Author: Kieran Mulvaney
  • ISBN: 9780547152424
  • Page: 194
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Polar bears are creatures of paradox They are white bears whose skin is black massive predators who can walk almost silently Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool Fully grown they can measure 10 feet and weigh close to 2,000 pounds, but at birth they are just 20 ounces Creatures that may wander thousands of miles over the course ofPolar bears are creatures of paradox They are white bears whose skin is black massive predators who can walk almost silently Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool Fully grown they can measure 10 feet and weigh close to 2,000 pounds, but at birth they are just 20 ounces Creatures that may wander thousands of miles over the course of a year, they begin life in a snowdrift Human encounters with these legendary beasts are cause for both excitement and apprehension Tales throughout history describe the ferocity of polar bear attacks on humans but human hunting of polar bears has exacted a far larger toll, obliging Arctic nations to try to protect their region s iconic species before it s too late.Now, however, another threat to the polar bears survival has emerged, one that is steadily removing sea ice and the life it supports Without this habitat, polar bears cannot exist The Great White Bear celebrates the story of this unique species Through a blend of history, both natural and human, through myth and reality and observations both personal and scientific, Kieran Mulvaney masterfully provides a context for readers to consider the polar bear, its history, its life, and its uncertain fate.

    One thought on “The Great White Bear: A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear”

    1. There were some amazing parts to this book and other parts, that I just didn't care for at all. This book is all about the “Great White Bear” also known as a polar bear. The topics covered range where these bears are found (polar bears are only found in the northern hemisphere and will never get to snack on penguins which are only found in the southern hemisphere), to denning behavior, to more worrisome topics like cannibalism among polar bears and the effects that climate change is having o [...]

    2. The Great White BearBy Kieran Mulvaney4 starspp. 251I love to take a trip to the polar regions in the heat of the Summer, by book that is. This Summer Kieran Mulvaney was nice enough to escort me on a tour of the Arctic with the particular purpose of learning about and understanding the polar bear in his book The Great White Bear. I always love finding out more about animals and have been interested in polar bears and their welfare, but really wasn’t that well informed. It seemed like a great [...]

    3. What a wonderful book written by a gifted and imaginative writer. It is a study of the polar bears of the arctic, but it is also partly imaginative and written in a beautiful and loving style. I have been above the Arctic Circle to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, but it was a bit scary not to be able to walk the few streets in the area or to have a window open (it was August)at our bizarre ground floor inn. Later, in a heavy mist, we gained entry to the oil installation and were warned to not wander too fa [...]

    4. An introduction to the biology and ecology, as well as to the past, present, and future state of this majestic speciesd sadly, their future doesn't look good. This book provides an insightful look at the biology, evolution, behavior, and environmental requirements and diet, as well as a look at the past, present, and possible future of this iconic species. The Muvalney presents this information in a format that is easily followed, and which can be readily understood by non-scientists. Mulvaney p [...]

    5. I think this a really good overview of polar bears in the wild and our history and future with them. Mulvaney does a great job of describing both the beauty and power of polar bears, as well as the struggles they face with humans and climate change. It obviously made me very sad. One thing I expected to be touched on in some way, but which wasn't at all, was polar bears in captivity. I would have been interested to read about that side of things too, but Mulvaney doesn't even mention zoos once, [...]

    6. Mulvaney's natural history of the polar bear begins and ends on the icebreaker Arctic Sunrise, venturing into the sea ice of the Arctic to observe its ultimate predator. The author touches on many aspects of polar bear lore, using vivid primary source material to tell of early encounters with explorers, without sensationalizing the subject matter. Mulvaney also follows the lifespan of a typical bear, from conception to adulthood. Polar bears are perhaps the least understood of the great bears, d [...]

    7. I was somewhat disappointed in this book. It has some beautiful color plates of bears and the maps could have been better. I had hoped it would read like a Malcolm Gladwell but it was quite tedious at times. Best parts where when it discussed the interaction between bears and people in the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I didn't enjoy the parts were the author told the story from the bear's point of view/experience. Once the ice disappears not only will the polar bear disappear but also th [...]

    8. It was more thorough than I expected. He dispelled myths and such, like an oddly persistent one, where people thought the polar bear's fur channelled UV light to the bear's skin like fibre optic wire, which was interesting. While most of the book did not dwell on conservationism, it did describe the polar bear realistically as a brutal yet patient animal that survives in a brutal environment. The bears need sea ice so that they may continue to survive on their diet of ringed seals who break thou [...]

    9. i really love polar bears, so i wanted to dig in deeper. i picked up some interesting facts along the way and definitely know they aren't so cute and cuddly as my stuffed burli bear. the book itself is not a page turner. also, i was turned off about how the author randomly writes from the perspective from the polar bear, which i find a bit obnoxious. i mean, who knows what these bears are thinking? the most annoying thing was when the author talks about another person's publication, kieran mulva [...]

    10. A very well researched book on polar bears, and their troubling future. At times tedious to read, it nevertheless teaches you a lot. The last few chapters are very sad, describing how bears are malnourished and even resorting to cannibalism. The problem is the ice is melting and we may have passed the point of truly helping these great bears make a comeback in the wild. Hopefully, with better environmental policy humankind can slow the melt, but unfortunately, it may be too little too late.

    11. A well-written book on an urgent topic. The book starts with a short yet harrowing anecdote about an encounter with a starving polar bear, and the description of the animal's suffering was so astute and vivid that it took me several months to muster the courage to finish the book. If you are sensitive to the suffering of our fellow creatures this may not be an easy book to read, but it's an important book to read. I learned some new facts about polar bears and the precise way in which global war [...]

    12. There is enough diversity in The Great White Bear to appeal to a wide audience, from scientists to activists to politicians and even to just the average reader with a soft spot for cute animals or a passing interest in current events.Full review on The Stanford Daily website.

    13. A very well written, factual book that should be mandatory reading for all. The impact of climate change is huge to this species, and if more people understood the plight of such magnificent creatures, perhaps we could stop climate change from advancing so quickly.

    14. I learned a ton about polar bears and the arctic. Way more interesting than I expected the book to be. Good writing!

    15. *Everything* about polar bears---their environment, behaviors, encounters with humans, and, yes, a chapter on the impact of melting sea ice.

    16. A very thoughtful and elegant plight of such a beautiful animal. When the ice is gone, so is the polar bear.

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