From today's featured article
The polar bear is a large bear native to the Arctic and nearby areas. Closely related to the brown bear, the polar bear is the largest extant species of bear and land carnivore, with adult males weighing 300 to 800 kg (700 to 1,800 lb). It has white or yellowish fur with black skin and a thick layer of fat. Polar bears live both on land and on sea ice, and usually live solitarily. They mainly prey on seals, especially ringed seals. Male bears guard females during the breeding season and defend them from rivals. Mothers give birth to cubs in maternity dens during the winter. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers polar bears a vulnerable species. Their biggest threat is climate change as global warming has led to a decline in sea ice in the Arctic. They have been hunted for their coats, meat and other items. They have been kept in captivity and have played important roles in culture. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Frankee Connolly (pictured) signed to Xenomania and took her first singing lessons – in that order?
- ... that almost all members of a flock of tufted jays work together to build a nest?
- ... that Sarah McCreanor imitates objects under hydraulic presses through dance?
- ... that former US president Theodore Roosevelt was shot in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel in 1912?
- ... that Olympic hammer thrower Tamer Balcı was later cast in a movie as Tarzan?
- ... that TV stations in Nashville and in Memphis, Tennessee, both on channel 30, lost their Fox affiliations in 1990?
- ... that the mild climate in the remote mountain village of Wakan in Oman allows the growth of fruits such as pomegranates in an otherwise hot and dry country?
- ... that football player Brad Kragthorpe played in an exhibition game named after his grandfather?
In the news
- Following the general election, Feleti Teo (pictured) is appointed Prime Minister of Tuvalu.
- The Odysseus robotic lander of the IM-1 mission performs the first commercial soft landing on the Moon.
- At the British Academy Film Awards, Oppenheimer wins Best Film and six other awards.
- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in a corrective labor colony near Kharp, at the age of 47.
On this day
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: A Patriot victory at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge resulted in the arrests of 850 Loyalists over the following days.
- 1814 – Peninsular War: In the south of France, Spanish, British and Portuguese soldiers under the command of Arthur Wellesley defeated French soldiers in the Battle of Orthez, causing the French to retreat east.
- 1988 – The Armenian community of Sumgait in Azerbaijan was the target of a violent pogrom (memorial pictured).
- 1996 – The multimedia franchise Pokémon was launched with the release of the video games Pocket Monsters Red and Green.
Today's featured picture
The Malaspina Glacier is the largest piedmont glacier in the world, situated at the head of the Alaska Panhandle in the United States. It is about 65 kilometers (40 mi) wide and 45 kilometers (28 mi) long, with an area of 3,900 km2 (1,500 sq mi). The glacier is up to 600 meters (2,000 ft) thick in places, with the elevation of its bottom being estimated to be up to 300 meters (980 ft) below sea level. This three-dimensional rendered panoramic map shows the Malaspina Glacier and surrounding area in 2021 – the glacier is at the front and center, with its concentric rings of ice, rubble and meltwater visible. The map was created using a digital elevation model with height samples every 22.5 metres (74 ft) based on United States and Canadian government data. The natural colors represent water, snow and ice, barren land, low vegetation, broadleaf forest, needleleaf forest, and wetland.
Panoramic map credit: Tom Patterson