Polar bears are truly majestic animals: the largest land-dwelling carnivore on earth, these white-furred, black-skinned giants can measure up to three meters in length and weigh up to fifteen hundred pounds. They are also iconic in other ways. They are a symbol of the climate change debate, with their survival now threatened by the loss of Arctic ice, and their images decorate fountains and the cornices of buildings across the world. They sell cold drinks. They feature in children’s books, on merry-go-rounds, and under the arms of weary toddlers heading for bed. Their pelts were once highly prized by hunters, and live captures became attractions in zoos and circuses. Stuffed bears still haunt museums and stately homes.
In this natural and cultural history of the polar bear, Margery Fee explores the evolution, species, habitat, and behavior of the animal, as well as its portrayal in art, literature, film, and advertising. Illustrated throughout, Polar Bear will beguile anyone who loves these outsize, beautiful, seemingly cuddly, yet deadly carnivores.