Top Facts about Polar Bears
- There are some wonderful facts about Polar Bears that you may not be aware of. As you learn them, you will likely have a new sense of awe and understanding about these rare creatures.
- Polar Bears are considered to be marine animals, even though they do spend time on land as well as in the water.
- These bears live an isolated lifestyle with the exception of mating or when the females have cubs to take care of.
- There are 19 identified subpopulations of Polar Bears out there. They each have their own home range but also overlap with other subpopulations.
- Some Polar Bears live in the same location all year long. Others though are very migrational and they will follow the ice pack annually to get their food resources.
- While most people think that Polar Bears are white in color, they are actually transparent.
- Polar Bears can live in extremely cold temperatures of the Arctic. They could live in the most cold regions but don’t do so because there is a lack of food for them to survive there.
- While they do prefer to spend their time in the water, they are known to spend some time on land too. The amount of time they spend on land often depends on their area of residence.
- They are excellent swimmers.
- A home range can vary in size from 19,000 to 135,000 square miles for the Polar Bear!
- This is the only species of bear that doesn’t mark its territory as they move through it.
- On average, a Polar Bear can travel 20 miles per day.
- There are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 of them in the wild.
- They consume more meat in their diet than any other species of bear. What they eat though changes with age. The young will consume the red meat from seals while adults will consume the skin and blubber.
- Seals make up the majority of the diet for the Polar Bear. They mainly will be able to get them when they come to the surface of air holes in the ice.
- Polar Bears have an amazing sense of smell.
- Both adult and young birds as well as eggs can be consumed by Polar Bears when they can’t get enough food from seals. They can climb cliffs and ledges to get to the nests if they have to but it can be very risky. They are also known to consume walrus if they are in tough spot to get enough food.
- Polar Bears are recognized for their efforts to clean up after a meal. They will wash their face and paws either in the water or in the snow on land.
- This is the only species of bear that doesn’t hibernate. The females though that are pregnant will stay in dens on land for several months.
- It is possible for the Polar Bear to slow their metabolism in late summer and early fall so that they don’t need to eat. This helps them to compensate for the melting ice that can prevent them from successfully reaching seals to dine on.
- Females usually mate between 4 and 6years of age. Males can mate as young as 6 years old but it is usually around 8 years to 10 years old that they do so due to the competition with other males for the attention of the females.
- Adult females only mate about every 3 years but the males are ready to mate every year. As a result, there is fierce competition for mating among the males.
- Male Polar Bears are often found with scars on their neck, shoulders, and head. They are the result of fighting with other males for the right to mate with females.
- Some genetic studies show that there are females that give birth to offspring that have different fathers. However, most females only mate with one male during the breeding season.
- When a female dens while pregnant, her heart rate will reduce drastically. She will go from a normal breathing pattern on 46 beats per minute to about 27 beats per minute.
- Young Polar Bear cubs weigh about 2 pounds at birth and they are light brown in color. They are also born blind.
- Cubs will stay with their mom until they are from 2 years to 3 years of age.
- The average lifespan for a Polar Bear in the wild is 25 years to 30 years. Some have lived as long as 45 years in captivity.
- The cause of death in many adult Polar Bears isn’t well known. It is believed that they could simply become too old to effectively hunt and they starve.
- Young cubs are vulnerable to wolves looking for food. If they venture too far from their mother they could suffer such a fate.
Polar Bear Video
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