Traveling across the polar or arctic regions, several polar bear facts for kids come to the fore. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a large sized bear that is endemic to Arctic Ocean. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say that polar bear is the largest land carnivore existing in the present epoch. Kodiak Bear is the other species that resembles with the polar bear in its size. These animals are adaptable for cold temperatures and they spend most of their time at sea, walking on snow or foraging their prey.
On the negative side, some of the polar bear species are in a weaker position in that a sudden population decline is observed in recent times. Polar bears do have cultural significance for Arctic peoples so its extinction would not only mean the demise of animal species rather it could signify the end of few cultural values or beliefs for some people. Now let’s get down for some of the most interesting facts about polar bears for kids.
Read More: Why are Polar Bears Endangered?
Polar Bear Facts For Kids
The size of the polar bear is twice the size of the Siberian tiger. The weight of the adult makes measure around 350 – 680 kg (770 – 1500 lbs), with the length measuring 2.4 – 3 metres (7.9 – 9.8 feet).
The weight of the adult females is about 150 – 250 kg (330 – 550 lb), together with the length of about 1.8 – 2.4 metres (5.9 – 7.9 feet). The weight usually increases during pregnancy and reaches at 500 kg (1,100 lb).
The largest polar bear ever recorded at 1,002 kilograms (2,210 lb) that resided in northwestern Alaska back in 1960.
The polar bear has a shoulder height of about 130 – 160 cm (51 – 63 inches).
The study of polar bear facts shows a characteristic and physical appearance of bear.
The straight neck of the polar bear along with its elongated skull cast an unmistakable physical appearance of these animals. The large sized feet are enough to support the heavy weight of polar bear while walking on snow. These legs are 30 cm (12 inches) across. Brown bears have longer claws in comparison to the polar bears. They have 42 teeth as well as pointed canines.
Polar bears are magnificently shed by 10 cm (3.9 inches) of lard; they overheat at temperatures beyond 10 oC (50 oF). The thickness of a hair measures around 5 – 15 cm (2.0 – 5.9 inches).
They have an exceptional sense of smell and are capable to locate their prey at a vast distance of 1.6 km (1 mile) apart. Polar bears dig out any victim that may reside in a depth of about 3 feet (0.9 metres).
When it comes to swimming, these animals are the best. While swimming, polar bears display doggy style paddling.
They are known to reside at 320 km (200 miles) away from land. Whilst swimming, polar bears reach a speed of 9.7 km/h (6 mph). However, the walking speed is about 5.6 km/h (3.5 mph). The speed is 40 km/h (25 mph) while running on snow.
They are solitary animals and are not considered to be the strong territorial mammals. However, they seldom attack humans especially in starvation.
Where Do Polar Bears Live? | Amazing Facts about Polar Bears For Kids
For the reason that human population is not seen in Arctic Ocean, polar bears apt to remain in their native habitats. These bears are known to reside in James Bay, Newfoundland Island, Kuril Islands, and Sea of Okhotsk. The polar bear facts about its widespread distribution over the arctic areas illustrate some of the interesting insights.
Read More: Where Do Polar Bears Live?
Polar Bears Diet
Polar bear facts about its diet include various preys. These types of mammals primarily eat seals including ringed or bearded seals. Arctic waters host millions of seals. When these seals come to the surface of the ice for breathing, polar bears are there to welcome them. Polar bears eat birds, muskox, shellfish, rodents, eggs, crabs, plants, roots, kelp, and berries. They are also known to consume plastic, car batteries, hydraulic fluid, motor oil, and Styrofoam and other perilous substances.
Read More: What Do Polar Bears Eat
Interesting Polar Bear Facts For Kids | Reproduction
The mating period ranges from April to March. Males often chase females for about 100 km (62 miles). The females consume more food during pregnancy in that they eat 200 kg (440 lb). The cubs are normally born in the months of November and February. The weight of these juveniles measure around 0.9 kg (2.0 lb). Females litter 2 cubs. Wolves are sometimes responsible for taking away the polar bear cubs. Though occasionally, adult male bear also kill their cubs and the scientists are still not sure about the reason. The females begin to breed after 3 – 4 years of age. Males turn out to be mature at 6 years; while females reach maturity after 8 – 10 years. The average lifespan of polar bears is about 18 – 20 years and quite a few numbers have lived beyond 25. The maximum lived bear was recorded at 32 years in the wild, however, under captivity the maximum age is 43 years.
Different estimates show different figures about the polar bear population. The population of these animals reported to have been increased over the past 50 years. The total estimate of polar bear population was 5,000 – 10,000 back in 1970. However, the figure increased in the late 1980’s when the population reached 20,000 – 40,000.
Read More: Do Polar Bears Hibernate?
Proposal to Ban Polar Bear Trading Rejected! | News Around the Corner
The meeting among the world’s most renowned conservationists was held in Bangkok on March 7, 2013. In this meeting, a bid to ban the international trade of polar bear parts was REJECTED! United States presented this proposal at the meeting of the International Trade in Endangered Species of WFF (Wild Fauna and Flora), with intent to upgrade the polar bears’ status by prohibiting trade on these species. The debate ended when the results-in-favor got 38, while 42 were against the proposal and 46 went for no vote.
The first commercial polar bears’ hunting had started in the 17th century when Europeans ventured their journey into the Arctic in pursuit of natural resources.
Read More: Adaptations of a Polar Bear
These bears were subjected to excessive hunting in the late 19th century when almost 16,000 polar bears put to death. Those were the darkest times for polar bears. This implies that humans are primarily responsible for putting polar bears in the list of endangered species.
Do you know any more Polar Bear Facts? How about sharing it in the comments below.