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Polar Bear Fun Facts!

December 14, 2015

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Wonderful, white and fluffy, everyone loves polar bears! But how much do you know about them? Find out more about these amazing Arctic animals in Polar Bear Fun Facts!

The Basics

  • The polar bear's natural habitat is the Arctic region
  • Their scientific name is 'ursus maritimus'
  • Their food of choice? Seals! But in the summer they come ashore and forage for berries and plants
  • Humans are their only natural threat
  • They live on water and land - they are great swimmers, and sometimes even live on ice floes

Polar bears are great swimmersPolar bears are great swimmers
 

Warm in Winter

Polar bears have developed the ability to keep themselves warm in one of the harshest climates in the world - in fact, they're more likely to overheat than get cold! They have a thick coat of fur, insulated by a layer of blubber (also known as fat) to ward off the Arctic chill. They even have fur on the bottom of their paws, which helps them get a grip on icy surfaces as well as protecting from the cold.

Polar bear cubs are often twins!Polar bear cubs are often twins!
 

Their fur doesn't just keep them warm though - they also use it to camouflage themselves in the snow around them, but get this, under the fur their skin is black! This helps them absorb the rays of the sun when it does peek out. Their homes are called "dens" and are made by digging deep into the snow, sometimes creating multiple rooms. Unlike some bears, they don't hibernate during the cold (or else they wouldn't be able to get out much!)

Polar bear fur helps them blend in with the snowPolar bear fur helps them blend in with the snowCourtesy of Polar Bear International
 

Did You Know

  • Your best bet of seeing a polar bear in real life is visiting Churchill, Manitoba, where they often come into the town!
  • Their fur isn't actually white - it's a transparent color and hollow so it reflects the light
  • They are so strong they can kill an animal with one blow
  • They reach speeds of 6 mph in water and 10 on land
  • Male polar bears can weigh up to 1500 lbs
  • They are the largest carnivore to live on land
  • Mothers often have twins
  • When they sleep they often put one arm over their eyes
Have Your Say

What do you think of polar bears? Let us know in the comments section below!