Exquisitely adapted for life in one of Earth's harshest environments, polar bears can survive for 20 years or more on the Arctic Circle's glacial ice. At home in a waste where temperatures reach minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, these largest members of the bear family are a striking example of natural selection at work. With two layers of fur over a subcutaneous layer of blubber, polar bears are well adapted to resist heat loss. Their broad, snowshoe-like paws and sharp, curved claws enable them to traverse the ice with ease. Formidable hunters, these monarchs of the icy waste even possess the capacity to scent prey from a distance of 20 miles.
In the context of the passage's final sentence "capacity" most nearly means
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