Polar bears are usually born in a maternity den between November and February and spend the next 2.5 years with their mother; by the age of 5 years, they are fully mature and ready to mate. Adult polar bears usually live to the ages of 15 to 18 years, but some polar bears have lived into their 30s.Continue Reading
Polar bears mate on the ice during the months of April and May when the female bear enters estrus for about 3 weeks. During this mating season a group of male polar bears may follow a female around, fighting with each other for the right to mate with her. Once a female polar bear is pregnant, the fertilized egg divides several times before suspending growth until August or September. During the summer months, the female will put on as much weight as possible to support herself and her offspring in winter.
In October, the female polar bear digs a maternity den in the snow and remains there for the winter. She will give birth to between one and four cubs in December or January. The family will remain in the den until about April, when the female leaves with her cubs to start hunting for food. The cubs stay with the mother for 2.5 years, suckling and learning to eat fat and hunt. At this point the cubs are half-grown and may stay with each other for a short period of time. Eventually, they separate and go off on their own. Females are fully mature by 5 years of age and males between 8 to 10 years of age. Polar bears usually have a new litter every 3 to 4 years.Learn more about Polar Bears
There are no polar bears found in Antarctica. Polar bears are indigenous to the Arctic Circle, which is located at the North Pole. Antarctica is located at the South Pole.Full Answer >
As of 2008, scientists estimate there are approximately 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears. Polar bears are considered endangered as their environments are at risk from climate change. This is primarily due to warming conditions that cause sea ice to melt.Full Answer >
Polar bears have a variety of adaptations that allow them to survive in their Arctic homes. While many of their adaptations help them to hunt more effectively, other adaptations allow the bears to survive in the frigid temperatures. However, some of the most important adaptations polar bears have are those that help them to swim.Full Answer >
The male polar bear measures 8 to 9 feet and weighs between 550 and 1320 pounds, while the female measures 6 to 7 feet and weighs between 200 and 700 pounds. Polar bears are the largest terrestrial carnivores, and the only other bear of similar size is the Kodiak bear.Full Answer >