Polar bears are one of the most iconic and well-loved species in the world. Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about polar bears.
|Biological Name||Ursus maritimus|
Polar bears are the only bear species to be considered marine mammals as they spend most of their lives on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean depending on the ocean for their food and habitat, polar bears are the only bear species to be considered marine mammals.
Polar bears are actually black, not white. Reason behind this is that their fur is translucent, and only appears white because it reflects visible light. Whereas black skin absorbs the heat.
Polar Bears are reputed swimmers as they can swim for almost 4 days in water. Their swimming speed can go upto 6mph.
Less than 2% of polar bear hunts are successful. Their favorite treat is ringed seals and bearded seals.
Scientists can extract polar bear DNA from just their footprints, as well as the seal it had recently eaten.
They face more threats than climate change. The oil and gas industry is turning its eyes to the arctic. Contact with oil spills can reduce the insulating effect of a bear’s fur requiring them to use more energy to get warm, and can poison them if ingested.
Grizzly-polar bear hybrids exist also known as ‘grolar bears’ or ‘pizzly bears’. The hybrid physically resembles an intermediate between the two species, but as wild hybrids are usually birthed from polar bear mothers they are raised and behave like polar bears.
Male polar bears are the largest land carnivores on the world. Male polar bears can weigh up to 800kg, and are twice the size of females and in addition to the fact that they can measure up to 3 meters long
They can smell their prey up to a kilometer away. Polar bears have a very strong sense of smell, which they use to find seal breathing holes in the ice. They can even detect a seal in the water beneath a metre of compacted snow.