Polar bears, without question, deserve worldwide spotlight shined upon them not only because they are amazing animals, but also because our global influence on climate change and pollution has made this species fighting for their very survival.
So, in honor of these amazing animals let us look at some fun facts about this beloved and iconic polar beast:
- Polar Bears Do Not Hibernate
Unlike many of their cousins further south, polar bears do not hibernate through the winter. Mom polar bear uses a den to give birth and raise her cubs. But polar bears engage in behavior similar to hibernation, when they consume very small amounts of food and water just to survive.
- Male Polar Bears Have Longer Hairs on Their Front Legs
Another interesting polar bear fact about fur is that male polar bears have longer hair on their front legs, and this hair is an important part of the mating process and is used to attract females.
- Polar Bears Evolved from Brown to White for Camouflage
Maybe the most obvious of polar bear facts is that polar bears are white. This animal is closely related to the brown bear, but the white coat of the polar bear came from many years of evolution.
- Polar Bears Hair Is 10 Inches Thick
It is familiar that polar bear has a hick hair layer close to skin, but this hair can be up to six inches (15 centimeters) thick. Polar bears also have a thick layer of fat called blubber.
- Polar Bears Can Swim Over 200 Miles
Did you know that a polar bear can swim over 200 miles (350 kilometers)? These long swims in reality are not normal and can be a result of polar ice melting, which is an important part of the polar bear habitat.
- Polar Bear Has Black Skin
The skin of Polar bears is surprisingly black. To humans and other animals that are able to see only in daylight, polar bears blend in perfectly with their snowy environment.
- Polar Bear Paws
Did you know that the length of polar bear paws is based on how big its body is, and the average size of the paw is about 12 inches (30 cm), which is likely bigger than your face.
- Polar Bears Are Very Tiny When They Are Born
It is very hard to imagine but that 2 pound bear was born with only one pound (0.5 kg). The mom keeps her cubs in the den until they reach about 30 pounds (15 kg). The males take 8 -14 years to reach their adult size and the females reach full size around ages 5 and 6.
- Polar Bears Can Smell Their Food Even From 20 Miles Away
Polar bear nose is very sensitive organ that can put any dog to shame. A polar bear can sniff the seal up to 20 miles (32 km) away, and in the ice it can smell more than half a mile away, even if the seal is not present.
- Polar Bears are Marine Mammals
The polar bear is considered a marine mammal because of the characteristics they have for a marine lifestyle. Their body is made for swimming. They have tiny webs between their toes to help them swim and have a thick layer of blubber to help them stay afloat.