Polar bears are exceptional swimmers and are known for their ability to swim long distances for hours at a time. In 1988, a scientist tracked a polar bear who swam 62 miles (about 100 km) continuously. Their swimming stroke is much like a dog paddle, and they can stay in the water for so long because of fat stores that keep them warm, as well as hairs that shake free water and thus do not allow ice to form.
Earlier this year a polar bear was recorded swmming 9 days straight in search of land. This bear swam a total of 232 hours covering a distance of 687 kilometrs. This was not without cost however. The female lost her cub as well as 22% of her body fat. As ice caps melt, polar bears will continue having to swim further and further to find land.
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