What Is the Average Weight of an Adult Polar Bear?

average-weight-adult-polar-bear Credit: Dawn Ellner/CC-BY 2.0

The average weight of an adult male polar bear is 1,543 pounds while an adult female is half that size and weighs up to 1,000 pounds. The largest polar bear ever recorded weighed 2,219 pounds and was found in Alaska in 1960.

A polar bear’s weight varies throughout the year as it hunts and prepares for hibernation. Polar bears may travel several thousand miles in search of food following the advances and retreats of the Arctic pack ice. They are at their heaviest after the hunting season.

Polar bears spend over 50 percent of their time hunting for food and have only a two percent success rate. They are powerful, opportunistic hunters and require large stores of fat in order to survive the harsh Arctic conditions. Polar bears are almost exclusively meat eaters. They feed mainly on bearded and ringed seals but prey upon sea birds and eggs if available.

During a state of walking hibernation, a polar bear’s body temperature, heartbeat, respiration and metabolism are reduced to conserve energy.