Animal Class >> Mammals

Polar Bear

The Polar Bear is also known as white bear. Its thick blubber and fur insulate it against the cold. Its fur is white or cream-colored providing camouflage from its prey. The bear has a short tail and small ears that help reduce heat loss, as well as a relatively small head and long, tapered body to streamline it for swimming. The polar bear is a semi-aquatic marine mammal that depends mainly upon the pack ice and the marine food web for survival. It has adapted for life on a combination of land, sea, and ice. Most adult males weigh 300-600 kg (660-1320 lbs) and measure 2.4-3.0 m (7.9-10.0 ft) in length. Adult females are roughly half the size of males and normally weigh 150-300 kg (330-660 lbs), measuring 1.9-2.1 m (6.25-7 ft). At birth, cubs weigh only 600-700 g or about a pound and a half.

Facts about Polar Bears

  1. Polar bears are always left-handed, and so is Kermit the Frog. 
  2. Male polar bears weight 1400 pounds and females only weight 550 pounds, on average.
  3. Polar bears live along shores and on sea ice in the icy cold Arctic. When sea ice forms over the ocean in cold weather, many polar bears, except pregnant females, head out onto the ice to hunt seals. Polar bears have been spotted on sea ice hundreds of miles from shore. When the warm weather causes the sea ice to melt, polar bears move back toward shore.
  4. In fall pregnant polar bears make dens in earth and snowbanks, where they'll stay through the winter and give birth to one to three cubs. In spring the mother emerges from her den followed by her cubs. Generally, she will nurse them for two and a half years. During that time she will protect them and teach them how to hunt.
  5. Polar bears primarily eat seals. Polar bears often rest silently at a seal's breathing hole in the ice, waiting for a seal in the water to surface. Once the seal comes up, the bear will spring and sink its jagged teeth into the seal's head.
  6. Sometimes the polar bear stalks its prey. It may see a seal lying near its breathing hole and slowly move toward it, then charge it, biting its head or grabbing it with its massive claws. A polar bear may also hunt by swimming beneath the ice.

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