The Polar bear is not only the largest species in the bear’s family but also the largest land carnivore. The adult males reach up to 6.5 – 8.5 feet (2 – 2.5 meters) in length, and may reach 9 feet (2.7 meters) stand erect on their hind legs; it has a shoulder height of 5.5 feet (1.6 meters). The adult male bears weigh around 1,720 pounds (780 kg); with the females being fairly smaller, averaging 660 pounds (300 kg). Polar bears have a long straight neck, small ears, together with long head, erect nose, large paw, and broad feet with powerful limbs. How many times have you come across all these remarkable information about polar bears? Surely, a few times!
The polar bear tail reaches a length of 3 – 5 inches (7.5 – 12.5 cm). Polar bear is predominantly white though the hair of the fur is colorless and hollow. The polar bear’s skin is completely black and it serves as an efficient heat absorber. As the summer begins, the polar bear’s coat start becoming duller yellow. Polar bears are found on the southern edge of the Arctic pack ice. The ice carries them to the southward in summer and spring and when the ice breaks up they return northward. ‘Ice Bear’ is the other name of polar bear.
Information about Polar Bears | A Home of Ice and Water
Polar bears are skillful divers and excellent swimmers. Polar Bears swim at a speed of 7 miles per hour (12 km/h). Polar bears only bring their front legs come into play while swimming; they trail their hind legs. One of the reasons why polar bears survive in extreme cooler environment is their dense layer of fat under the skin averaging 3 inches (7.5 cm) in thickness on the haunches. The fat layer serves as an insulating sheet and keeps the bear buoyant in cold water.
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A polar bear’s coat is just the right color to make it hard for prey to see. Polar bears are often known to swim powerfully some 200 miles (320 km) away from the land while covering 62 miles (100 km) in one go. They are equally fast on land too. They primarily swim with their heads extended forward, but the when the sea is irregular or rough they swim with their heads drowned, occasionally lifting them to breathe. As the polar bears done swimming, they will shake themselves on land just like the dogs do.
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They have an excellent sense of smell and are able to hunt even in complete darkness in the middle of Arctic winter. Although they can see quite well polar bear do not usually rely on their vision for hunting. The polar bear can detect its prey as far as 20 miles (32 km). While walking, polar bears often swing their heads in order to smell out prey. Polar bears are typically wanderers as they travel miles of distances in pursuit of food. They like to hunt on a solid and broken ice.
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Hunting Seals are the Favorite Foods of Polar Bears | Information about Polar Bears
Polar bears are every fond of hunting seals, specifically ringed seals (Pusa hispida). They usually stalk prey taking advantage of the snow hummocks. One of the easiest preys is the sleeping seal on the edge of the ice. Ringed seals, when pregnant, create an igloo in a snow hummock for her pups, which is often sniffed out by polar bears. Polar bears also attack young walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) but they often go down against an adult walrus. The bears also consume fish, carrion, seabirds and their eggs.
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The polar bear cubs are able to walk 47 days after their birth, but a complete weaning occurs after 3 months. Polar bear consumes a large quantity of food such as seaweeds, lichens, moss, and grass in the early summer or late spring. They also eat bilberries, cranberries, and crowberries.
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The average lifespan of polar bears is up to 30 years. They build habitats in the tundra Arctic grassland in summer; while in winter the habitats are built on the frozen ice pack. Polar bears remain active all year round while spending much of their time searching seals. They often take little or no sleep in winter. Adult polar bears are solitary
A Long Gestation | Information about Polar Bears
The polar bears start mating in the months of April and May. They have fairly a long gestation period of 195 – 265 days in the polar bear life cycle. The female normally litters two cubs in December or January. The length of each cub at birth measures around 1 foot (30 cm) with weight averaging 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg). The young bears display a short, sparse hair of coat. They are born blind and helpless and they open their eyes after 33 days; however, they won’t be able to hear until 69 days. The cubs remain with their mother for about 10 months. The male bears become mature at 10 years of age while females mature at 5 years.
Learn more: Polar Bear Life Cycle
Humans are the Main Threat | Information about Polar Bears
Because of its strong muscles and powerful forepaws polar bears do not have natural predators though they are often lost to an adult walrus that fights in a self-defense. Humans are the biggest threats polar bears are facing. Apart from humans, the young bear got killed by accidents such as snow storms or by drowning or sometimes male polar bears kill and eat cubs. Polar bears have long been admired for their commercial importance such as they’re often hunted for meat and pelts. People have also used polar bear’s long canine teeth as ornaments; besides, indigenous people have made sleigh robes, trousers and bed covers from the bear’s pelts.
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Can Fast for Several Months | Information about Polar Bears
Polar bears have an exceptional ability to store a large quantity of fat and this is done when the prey is abundant since they have to go by several months without eating in the protracted periods. In the Hudson Bay, for instance, the ice disappears in July and does not reform until November, all polar bears have to fast during these four months while the pregnant females will not feed for about eight months. When the food is scarce, the metabolism of polar bears involuntarily slows down demanding less energy.
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