Ursus Maritimus. Polar Bear.
by: Lieut. James Ross, R. N., F.L.S.
of the ship: Fury
William Parry Expedition, 1824

 These animals were frequently met with on floating fragmants of ice, both in Davis' Straight and Baffin's Bay, but none were killed until after the arrival of the Expedition at Port Bowen. There they visited the ships in considerable numbers, and in the course of the winter and ensuing spring eleven were killed. Of these the males averaged 8 1/2 cwt., the females about 7 1/2 cwt., and the largest which was obtained did not exceed 9 cwt. The very wonderful accounts of the the magnitude of these animals, which some authors have given, appear extravagant and exaggerated, when we observe that the largest of those which have been met with in the course of the late voyages weighed less than 12 cwt., and did not exceed 8 feet 9 inches in length.

That the gravid females alone hibernate, and that the males and unimpregnated females wander about in the neighbourhood of the clear water throughout the winter, has been so fully confirmed by the testimony of the Esquimaux on the former, and our own expirience on the present voyage, that no doubt can now remain on this interesting subject.


Source: Parry, William, Third voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage, Philadelphia: H. C. Carry and I. Lea, 1826, p.166
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