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Interesting Facts About Polar Bears

  • Of all bear species that exist on earth, the polar bear is the largest. However, there is one exception to this. There is a subspecies of brown bear known as the Kodiak bear which is just as large as polar bear.
  • However, if a male adult polar bear stands on its hind legs, it can reach the height of 10 feet or more. The tallest specimen till date has been recorded at 11 feet and 1 inch tall.
  •  If we try to measure the length of a polar bear all the way from its head to its rump, the average length is 7.25 feet (2.2 meters) to 8 feet (2.5 meters). However, if the tail is thrown in the measurement, the length increases by another 3 inches to 5 inches.
  •  In adult polar bears, the feet may be 30 centimeters across. Such large feet are designed for weight/load distribution when these large animals walk on ice sheets that are thin. Such wide feet also help in propulsion when they swim.
  •  Polar bears appear white in color but they are not so. It is an illusion created by its fur. Their fur has two layers – a dense underfur and a not-so-dense outer layer known as guard hairs. The guard hairs that we see are actually transparent and they give the appearance of white to tan – a unique adaptation for the polar bears in their immediate surroundings.
  • As the polar bears age, their white coat gradually gets yellowish. Those polar bears that are kept in captivity in warmer places such as zoos will usually have their fur turned into a pale shade of green. This happens because the humid conditions allow algal growth inside guard hairs.
  • Male polar bears have ornamental hair on their forelegs. These ornamental hair are way longer than the female counterparts.
  • Polar bears are excellent swimmers and are capable of swimming for days without break. It one particular case, a polar bear was spotted swimming for 9 days at a stretch covering a distance of 687 kilometers across frigid Bering Sea.
  • Very hungry polar bears however are known for attacking humans, killing them and eating them. Satiated polar bears on the other hand will rarely attack humans unless they are provoked.

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