Polar bears protect themselves and their young with powerful forearms, sharp claws and strong jaws. Polar bears use their claws for hunting and gaining traction on the ice as well as for protection.
According to Polar Bears International, polar bear claws measure up to 2 inches or 5.1 centimeters in length. Polar bears use their claws to hold down prey for their powerful jaws to rend. They also use this tactic when warding off other predators.
Polar bears also protect themselves from the cold and the elements as well as from other threats by digging into the snow. Female polar bears have specially curved claws which they use to dig down into snow drifts in order to build dens. According to National Geographic, polar bears usually give birth to twin cubs during the winter. The mothers then teach the children how to protect themselves from both the elements and other predators. Polar bears don’t tend to be afraid of humans, so they can be dangerous when near human settlements. They often pick through garbage and develop a taste for it. This causes the bears to hang around human camps. Since the bears have such strong adaptations for fighting in close quarters, this is often dangerous for humans.