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Answered 2009-10-02 16:05:41

Polar bears are efficient swimmers, for such large animals. While in the water they paddle with their front feet, and use the hind feet as rudders. They can swim at a speeds of 4-6 mph and paddle non-stop for 100 miles. Have been seen swimming several hundred miles from the nearest ice or land. While swimming, they keep their eyes open, their nostrils shut and their ears flattened to their heads. Polar bears can stay under up to 2 minutes. They are also capable of leaping out of the water 7'-8' feet from a swimming start. They have been seen catching seals that way.

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