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Ice Bear: A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear [Kindle Edition]

Kieran Mulvaney
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

The polar bear is one of the most recognisable animals on the planet. Yet if global warming continues at its present pace, summer sea ice could disappear entirely from the Arctic Ocean by the year 2040. Polar bears could be extinct within a generation.



Ice Bear is the definitive account of an iconic species: its life, its past, and its uncertain future. These beautiful bears are creatures of paradox: Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool. Officially classed as marine mammals, they are the world's largest land carnivores. They begin life in a snowdrift; at birth they weigh just twenty ounces. Fully grown, they become massive predators that can walk almost silently, ten feet in length and close to 2,000 pounds. Wandering thousands of miles over the course of a year, they are, above all, creatures of the ice. Without sea ice and the life it supports, polar bears cannot survive.



Kieran Mulvaney is an expert on the Polar regions who has led three expeditions to the Arctic as well as Project Thin Ice 2006: Save the Polar Bear - the successful first attempt to reach the North Pole in summer and draw attention to the impact of climate change on polar bears. This book blends natural and human history, myth and reality with scientific and personal observation, to tell the story of these remarkable animals, the region in which they dwell, and the rapid changes overtaking planet Earth.



Product Description

Review

"The excellent book - a blend of natural history and personal reflection - is full of profound observations about one of the world's most telegenic yet threatened mammals" (BBC History Magazine)

"Ice Bear joins the dots of this unfolding drama at the top of the world, showing why polar bears are much more than majestic and charming adornments to the planet." (Daily Mail)

"Kieran Mulvaney has written numerous polar-related book and in this one he sheds some light on this odd animal, concentrating on two bears living around Hudson Bay in Canada and following them from their charming infancy through to full adulthood. On the way there is much to be learnt." (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

A fascinating, up-close look at virtually everything interesting, important, or culturally relevant about the birth, life, and death of the polar bear.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 586 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FV4XQM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #698,086 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wake up call 25 Jan. 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This is a book that I've been looking forward to for the best part of 18 months. Alas due to delays it's been a long wait and whilst its finally arrived, I'd almost wished that it hadn't as it's a wake-up call to the world to help save an endangered species now rather than waiting for its painful demise as the Arctic Ice caps melt. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with this book but when such beautiful creatures are on the verge of disappearing within many peoples memory due to mankind's selfishness then it's time to stand up and be counted.

The book is wonderfully written as the author takes the reader on a journey to the Arctic Circle in order to allow us to see this impressive creature (10ft in height and 2000 pounds in weight) in all its glory and whilst we can revel in its majesty we have to remember exactly what these mammals are capable of. Add to this an informed well-spoken voice to help carry this title through which when backed with an almost travel journal vocal style allows the reader easy access to this elusive creature. Let their voices be heard before the we're only left with an echo as they've gone the way of the Dodo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and essential 2 Jun. 2011
Format:Hardcover
The Great White Bear is a natural history of the that iconic Arctic animal, the polar bear. It makes fascinating reading - I wanted to quote so much from it, my copy is full of highlighted passages that I want to make everyone in the world read, because the polar bear in peak form is a muscle-bound miracle of evolution with a four-and-a-half inch layer of blubber, black skin and translucent hair that works so efficiently that, far from struggling to keep warm, the bear actually has to stay cool. It can smell a seal for miles, has been known to leap on the back of a beluga whale, and spends four months under the snow to rear its young.

Kieran Mulvaney has written for, amongst others, New Scientist, BBC Wildlife and Greenpeace, lived for seven years in Alaska and brings a lifetime's interest and understanding to his subject. His book covers all aspects of the bear's life (including the answer to the hoary question about why they don't live in the Antarctic) from evolution and physiology to its future. Most important of all, though of little practical interest to most bears, is the unequal relationship with man, and Mulvaney demonstrates beyond question just how unequal that is: despite its being admirably equipped to kill, encounters between bears and humans are much more likely to result in the bear's death. And bears are still hunted, of course, both legitimately by indigenous peoples, and illegally, even in Russia where hunting has been banned for longest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the Arctic 30 May 2013
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
At times, I felt that the author presented more detail than I really wanted, but that at least I can't complain about any omissions. Everything I expected to be covered is here. The author discusses all phases of a polar bear's life - birth, cub, young bear (referred to as sub-adult) and mature adult. He looks at their diet, hunting methods, migration patterns and so much else. One long chapter focuses on their interaction with people, but it's not all that reassuring to know that polar bears aren't interested in eating people unless they're really hungry and desperate.

Another long chapter focuses on the Arctic climate and its long-term changes. The case for Arctic warming is presented strongly and if present trends continue, the polar bear is likely to be extinct in under 200 years. However, the author also acknowledges that in some parts of the world, the trend is cooling. (In the UK, I've witnessed the warming trend from the mid-90s to 2006, since when things have been very different.) This chapter on Arctic warming is nevertheless interesting in showing what could happen.

While this book is primarily about polar bears ,it would nevertheless be a good starting point for anybody wanting to read about the Arctic region generally.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ! 5 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's a must read! A great book, I shall not spoil this for you but I will recommend it. It's exactly what it says on the cover.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the arctic 30 May 2013
By Peter Durward Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
At times, I felt that the author presented more detail than I really wanted, but that at least I can't complain about any omissions. Everything I expected to be covered is here. The author discusses all phases of a polar bear's life - birth, cub, young bear (referred to as sub-adult) and mature adult. He looks at their diet, hunting methods, migration patterns and so much else. One long chapter focuses on their interaction with people, but it's not all that reassuring to know that polar bears aren't interested in eating people unless they're really hungry and desperate.

Another long chapter focuses on the Arctic climate and its long-term changes. The case for Arctic warming is presented strongly and if present trends continue, the polar bear is likely to be extinct in under 200 years. However, the author also acknowledges that in some parts of the world, the trend is cooling. (In the UK, I've witnessed the warming trend from the mid-90s to 2006, since when things have been very different.) This chapter on Arctic warming is nevertheless interesting in showing what could happen.

While this book is primarily about polar bears ,it would nevertheless be a good starting point for anybody wanting to read about the Arctic region generally.
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