108 Fun Polar Bear Facts For Kids

Polar bears might be the most intriguing bears in the world! They are beautifully white, thrive in bitter cold temperatures, and have the cutest cubs. Learn more about these amazing animals with these polar bear facts.

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Did you know polar bears’ skin is actually black, and their fur has no color? It looks white because of luminescence. They have two layers of fur to keep them warm in artic cold.

Mama polar bears stay warm in their dens during the winter until cubs arrive. Cubs are really tiny when they’re born and live with their mom for about two years while she teaches them how to survive.

Polar bears gallop to move around, wave their heads to play, and will sit for long periods of time waiting for a seal to enjoy for a meal. They can smell an otter from a mile away! Ready to discover even more polar bear facts? Let’s dive in!

For more fun facts, check out our facts about Antarctica and Penguins!

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Polar Bear Facts

  • Polar bears have a special organ called a baculum, a bone in their penis that helps with reproduction. This bone can reveal a polar bear’s diet, age, and health.
  • A polar bear’s fur has no color. It looks white because of luminescence.
  • The mother will rest and keep warm in the den during the harsh Arctic winters and wait for the birth of her cubs.
  • They also have two layers of fur to help them stay warm.
  • There are only an estimated 22-31,000 polar bears globally, but this number is falling because of climate change.
  • Interestingly, despite their much lower weight, a grizzly stands at 9 feet while standing on its hind legs. 
  • Polar Bears don’t hibernate, but mother bears live in dens to raise their cubs, where they don’t eat or drink during that time.
  • The polar bear was the mascot for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.
  • When they want to play, they wag their heads!
  • Much like a horse, polar bears gallop to move around.
  • They also have an elongated snout which allows them to warm the cold arctic air as they breathe in.
  • Polar bears don’t typically live in packs or groups. They like to be alone. This is better for hunting. 
  • These big grippy paws mean that they can travel up 3,000 kilometers per month and have home ranges bigger than the state of California!
  • Polar bears can swim for days at a time to get from one piece of ice to another.
  • The white fur is a very good insulator and prevents almost any heat loss.
  • Polar bears have a thick layer of fat called blubber that helps them to survive in freezing temperatures. 
  • When the cubs are about three months old, the mother leads them to the sea ice, where she teaches them to hunt seals.
  • Polar bear cubs learn to freeze and remain still while their mother hunts. If they move, the mother will stop the hunt to discipline them.
  • Polar bears have a remarkable sense of smell as they can detect a seal 3 feet beneath the ice from a distance of one kilometer.
  • Polar bears are very good swimmers and they’re very good at walking too! 
  • Pregnant polar bears make dens in snowbanks to have their babies.
  • Polar bears can live for about 25 years, but most wild polar bears average only 15 to 18 years.
  • Adult female polar bears weigh about 330-650 pounds (150-295 kilograms).
  • They do not hibernate, however pregnant females do enter a state similar to hibernation.
  • Polar bears play and slide in the ice and snow.
  • They swim by paddling with their front paws and holding their hind legs flat.
  • Polar bears have an incredible sense of smell and can spot injured seals from a mile away.
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  • Polar bear cubs are very small. They’re about the size of a stick of butter!
  • An adult male polar bear normally weighs between 775-1,200 pounds (351-546 kilograms).
  • Polar bears can sit for long periods, waiting for seals to poke their heads out of the ice.
  • They can smell seals on the ice twenty miles away!
  • Their stomachs can hold 10-20% of their body weight and the average bear can consume 2kg of fat in one day!
  • Polar bears are endangered.
  • The eyes of the polar bear are dark brown.
  • When a polar bear manages to catch a seal, they eat the fat first, which gives them energy and helps build up their own fat reserves.
  • Sadly, only about 50% of polar bear cubs survive their first few years, largely due to harsh Arctic conditions and lack of food.
  • Scientists are working hard to understand the full impact of climate change on polar bears. They track and study bears to learn about their diets, reproduction, and survival rates in changing conditions.
  • In the summer, when the sea ice retreats, polar bears may be forced to go without food for several months. During this time, they rely on their fat reserves to survive.
  • When Polar bears are spotted in groups, they are called a “pack” or a “sleuth.”
  • Their fur has a greasy coat, so they dry faster after swimming.
  • Polar bears can stand 10 feet tall. 
  • Females usually have two cubs that stay with their mother for about two and a half years, learning to hunt and survive.
  • Polar bears and penguins don’t live together (penguins are in the southern hemisphere).
  • They have a 10 cm (4 inch) layer of body fat, hide and fur to keep them warm.
  • Polar bear cubs weigh about one pound and are 12-14 inches long at birth. They are born blind, toothless and with short fur, so they depend on their mums for the first 2 years of their life.
  • Just 2% of their hunts are successful, that’s why they also live from body fat.
  • Their skin is black and their fur is transparent, not white.
  • Polar bears are the biggest bear in the world. Males weigh almost 2,000 pounds. That’s almost as much as a small car!
  • The scientific name for the polar bear is ‘ursus maritimus’.
  • Polar bears use body language and vocal sounds to chat to each other.
  • Polar bears live in the Arctic. They are found in the U.S., Russia, Norway, Canada, and Greenland.
  • Polar bears are actually black. Underneath all that fur, their skin is jet black. It absorbs the heat from the sun and keeps the bear warm.
  • The longest-lived polar bear ever recorded was 32 years. 
  • A mother polar bear’s milk is very rich in fat and helps the cubs grow quickly. When they leave the den, the cubs usually weigh around 22-33 pounds.
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  • Once the cubs are old enough to survive independently, the mother chases them away. She then starts the process again by finding a mate and giving birth to a new set of cubs.
  • The largest polar bear ever recorded stood 12 feet (3.6 meters) and the weight measured around 2,000 lb (907 kg).
  • In fact, polar bears are classified as marine mammals!
  • They have a layer of fat covering their body to stay in the cold areas. This also means they can overheat when it gets too warm.
  • The thick fur is a poor conductor of heat, so it minimizes heat loss from the body after trapping air from surroundings.
  • A polar bear’s nostrils close when they are swimming, so they don’t accidentally breathe in water.
  • Despite their patience and prowess, polar bear hunting is often unsuccessful. They only catch a seal about 2% of the time they try.
  • Climate change is also impacting polar bear reproduction. With less food available, females often struggle to gain enough weight to support a pregnancy, resulting in fewer cubs being born each year.
  • A polar bear mum will usually spend about two months in the den before her cubs are born. 
  • Adult polar bears have no known predators, other than other polar bears. 
  • Rolling in the snow or taking a swim is how they clean their fur.
  • They do a lot of traveling to find food, traveling about 19 miles a day.
  • Polar bears are carnivores, and their preferred meal is a seal due to the animal’s high fat content.
  • Polar bears go after humans only when they feel threatened or when the mother bear is with her cubs. 
  • 60 to 80% of the polar bear population can be found in Canada.
  • Polar bears can run about 25 mph.
  • Their short tails and ears prevent them from losing heat.
  • In water, the front paws act as large paddles, and the rear paws act as rudders for swimming.
  • The population of Polar bears is currently unknown.
  • A polar bear can also hunt by swimming beneath the ice.
  • Since ice moves all the time, polar bears don’t have territory like other animals.
  •  To keep warm in their cold climate, they are covered in a thick layer of blubber, which is often more than 4 inches thick.
  • Polar bears can consume up to 88 pounds of meat in one sitting. That’s like eating more than 300 hamburgers!
  • The bond between a polar bear mother and her cubs is very strong. She is extremely protective and will fight to defend her cubs from potential threats.
  • International Polar Bear Day is February 27th!
  • Their paws measure up to 12 inches (about 30 centimeters) across. These paws distribute their weight when they’re treading on thin ice. 
  • Polar bears have 42 razor-sharp teeth.
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  • Polar bears’ eyes have a protective membrane that protects them from ultraviolet light.
  • Unlike many other bears, polar bears do not mark trees with claws or teeth. Their home is the ice, which doesn’t leave a permanent mark.
  • Polar bears fancy living solitary lives and they are not territorial mammals.
  • The polar bear population is on the decline. Currently, there are about 26,000 polar bears in the wild. 
  • Male polar bears can weigh about 1,500 pounds or more.
  • Polar Bears are the largest meat-eater in the world.
  • Females are about half the size and weight half as much as males.
  • Polar bears have webbed feet, so they are better swimmers.
  • A  polar bear has 11.4 cm of thick fat which is covered by its skin.
  • Polar bears’ eyesight is similar to that of humans.
  • Polar bears often look like they’re sliding or playing in the snow, but this is a way for them to clean their fur and keep it insulated efficiently.
  • Baby polar bears are called cubs.
  • Polar bears do not attack humans unless provoked.
  • They can eat over 100 pounds of blubber in one meal.
  • The largest polar bear ever recorded weighed 2,209 pounds (over 1,000 kilograms), which is about the same as an average car.
  • Male polar bears are called a boar and a female is called a sow.
  • They overheat at temperatures above 10°C / 50°F.
  • Polar bears sleep in caves during the winter. Mama bears have babies during their winter nap. The babies nurse and play until mama wakes up.
  • Polar bears mostly eat seals.
  • When a polar bear is ready to mate, she emits a stinky scent through her feet so that male polar bears can find her through her footprints. 
  • Their large feet have small bumps, called papillae, to help them grip the ice.
  • Polar bears are excellent hunters and can patiently wait for hours at a breathing hole, waiting for a seal to come up for air.
  • Protecting polar bear habitats isn’t just about saving polar bears. It’s also about preserving the Arctic ecosystem, which is crucial for global climate regulation.
  • They often go hungry and starvation is a real threat.
  • Polar bears can survive for seven to ten days without food.
  • Polar bears spend part of the year on land.
  • Polar Bears have a blue tongue.

Do you have even more interesting facts about polar bears? Share them with us in the comments!

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