What Are Some Facts About Polar Bears?

The polar bear is a carnivorous marine mammal that lives exclusively in the Arctic. A female polar bear typically gives birth to one or two cubs per litter. Male adult polar bears can weigh as much as 1700 pounds and be 9 feet long. They are the second largest land carnivores in the world.

Polar bears primarily eat seals but eat other animals when necessary. They can travel thousands of miles each year in search of food. They are also great swimmers and can dive underwater to catch prey. According to Defenders of Wildlife, polar bears have been seen 200 miles off shore in open water.

The only polar bears that hibernate are females who are breeding. They give birth to their cubs during the hibernation period and stay in their den until the cubs weigh 20 to 30 pounds. Newborn cubs only weigh around one pound and are about a foot long. The cubs stay with the mother for over two years while learning how to survive on their own. Polar bears have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years, and females can have up to five litters in this time.

Polar bears are known for their thick, white fur, but their skin is actually black to better absorb heat. They have a thick layer of blubber that helps insulate their bodies and aids swimming by helping them float. Polar bears also have large flat feet that help them swim.