Polar Bears

by Mrs. Placke

Physical Description

  • Adults weigh 650-1,100 pounds
  • Can run at 20 miles per hour and swim at 26 miles per hour
  • Whitish-yellow fur helps it to stay camouflaged
  • Hairs are transparent and hollow (light is reflected off of this giving it color)
  • Skin under fur is actually black -- allowing it to absorb heat from the sun
  • Huge teeth for tearing it's prey apart
  • Tongue is a strange violet color
  • Oily fur with a thick layer of fat (blubber) underneath
  • Wide feet look like snowshoes
  • Hairy feet help them grip the ice
  • Larger than other bears (their cousins) in warmer climates

Diet

  • Mostly eat seals (often waits by the seal's breathing hole to kill it when it comes up for air -- That's just so lazy!) It eats the skin, fat, organs, but not the meat!
  • Catch fish
  • Eat berries in the summer
  • Catch ducks and geese

Habitat

  • Around the Coasts of the Arctic Ocean
  • Sometimes swim far out to sea, but prefer pack ice
  • Live in northern countries

Their Young

  • Cubs born in their den
  • Stay in the den for three months
  • Mother feeds them her milk
  • Born under the snow in middle of winter
  • Weigh less than 2 pounds at birth
  • Mother can hide them between the toes of her front paws
  • Born in pairs most of the time, sometimes three
  • Stay with mother for up to two years
  • Mother teaches them to hunt

Interesting Facts

  • Great swimmers
  • Front legs paddle
  • Hind legs are like rudders (to turn them different directions)
  • Used to raid towns and get killed, now caught and flown back to the wild
  • Strong and dangerous
  • May live up to 33 years in the wild
  • Adult bears live on their own most of the time
  • Can swim 60 miles without resting