21 Cool Polar Bear Facts

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest

Take a plunge into the wonderful world of these Arctic ambassadors…

1. Polar bears are the largest and longest species of bear. Males can measure up to 10 feet (3 meters) when standing on their hind legs.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

2. Scientists believe that the polar bear evolved from a common brown bear ancestor about 200,000 years ago.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

3. Even though they look white, a polar bear’s fur is made of clear, hollow tubes filled with air.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

4. Polar bears clean themselves by rolling in the snow.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

5. They also cool off by rolling in the snow or taking a dip in chilly waters.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

photo by Ion Moe

6. A group of polar bears is sometimes called a pack or sleuth.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

7. Unlike their brown and black counterparts, polar bears do not hibernate.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

8. Polar bears are found in countries that ring the Arctic Circle—Canada, the US, Greenland, Russia, and Norway.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

9. Polar bears have no natural enemies.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

10. They can swim at speeds of up to 6 miles per hour (8 knots). In fact, their taxonomic name means “sea bear.”

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

11. Polar bears have been known to swim more than 60 miles (100 kilometers) without rest in search for food. Unfortunately, that distance is increasing due to climate change.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

12. Their nose is so powerful it can smell a seal on the ice 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, sniff out a seal’s den that has been covered with snow, and even find a seal’s air hole up to 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) away.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

photo by Helene Hoffman

13. When they aren’t hunting, polar bears are resting up to 20 hours a day.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

14. Because their habitat vanishes for a few months every year, polar bears have evolved one of the longest fasting periods of any animal.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

15. Polar bears typically kill and eat prey every four to five days.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

16. A polar bear’s fat acts as a nutritional reserve and energy storage system when food can’t be found. It also increases their buoyancy when they swim.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

17. They have built-in socks. Stiff fur on the sole of each foot keeps the polar bear from slipping on ice, and also muffles the sound of the bear’s approach when sneaking up on a meal.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

photo By Helene Hoffman

18. Except for females with cubs, polar bears are solitary.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

photo by Helene Hoffman

19. Polar bear pregnancies are triggered by a female’s body condition and environmental factors, most often between September and November.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

photo by Helene Hoffman

20. This process, known as delayed implantation, is an adaption that ensures polar bear cubs will be born to healthy mothers at a time when their chances for survival are greatest.

21 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

photo by Helene Hoffman

21. Polar bear cubs weigh a mere 1 pound (.45 kilograms) at birth. They are hairless and have their eyes closed, depending on their mother to keep them warm and fed.

 

Do you have any polar bear facts to add to this list? Share yours in the comments below.

 

Jenn Beening is the social media planner for San Diego Zoo Global. Read her previous post, 11 Animals That Feast Together.

Add a comment

Due to the increased volume on our many social media channels, we are unable to respond to all comments or questions. Comments are now posted automatically but may be removed if deemed inappropriate according to the San Diego Zoo Global Blog Comment Policy.

16 Comments

  1. david
  2. Renata Santos
  3. Neil
  4. Mary
  5. Felipe
  6. franny
  7. franny
  8. franny
  9. Bizlee
  10. Bizlee
  11. Felipe
  12. franny
  13. Felipe
  14. Felipe
  15. Kristin
  16. Carmen Sees