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For many, bears are their all-time favorite animal, with one variation being polar bears.
Polar bears are appealing due to their rich fur texture and crystal clear coloration, whereas brown bears range from black to brown coloration. Often polar bears and Kodiak bears are mistaken and presumed to be of the same size.
There are various bears around the globe, such as the black bear, polar bear, giant panda, sun bear, cave bear, brown bear, sloth bear, Asian black bear, spectacled bear, grizzly bear, and more. Polar bears have a unique feature of communicating through their nose. For example, if a bear approaches slowly and creates circles around some food, it is a way of them asking for food from another bear when it is hungry.
Kodiak bears are much more muscular and rugged compared to polar bears. Their bite has a powerful force. Since they are hefty, they can run fast to catch prey for survival. In contrast, polar bears don't necessarily have to be fast to catch prey. In a fight between these two animals, a polar bear has a slight advantage of winning. A polar bear is quite big and is stronger than a Kodiak, and it has elongated claws.
A Kodiak bear might stand a good chance of winning, however, if it succeeds in capturing the polar bear's neck with its mouth, but that may be impossible due to their size differences. Adult Kodiak bears weigh in the range of 500-1000 lb (226.79 kg-453.59 kg), whereas the adult polar bear weighs approximately 1700lb. ( 771.1 kg).
Grizzly bears, coastal brown bears, and Kodiak bears come under the same species yet, the Kodiak bears and grizzly bears are distinct subspecies as they possess significant differences. In North America, brown bears have access to coastal food sources, whereas the grizzly bears, which are brown bears residing inland, don't have access to marine foods. They are considered to be the largest bears in the world as they possess a heavy bone structure and weigh up to 1700 lbs ( 771.1 kg).
Grizzly, coastal brown bears, and Kodiak bears are considered carnivorous, whereas actually, they are omnivorous. Grizzly bears consume berries, plants, roots, worms, pine nuts, ground-dwelling rodents, mountain goats, and various other mammals living in their vicinity. Kodiak bears and coastal brown bears consume similar foods to the interior grizzly, such as grass, berries, and remains of animals, however, their diet also comprises salmon and coastal foods that are of benefit to their massive size.
Keeping aside the differences in habitat and diet, grizzly and coastal brown bears possess great temperamental and physical differences. The massive male brown bears easily weigh up to 1000lb (453.592 kg) while gorging on fish. Contrastingly, the grizzly bears residing in the interior parts of the wilderness weigh less. Although grizzly bears have access to limited food and chase for it, they are much more aggressive than coastal brown bears. Coastal brown bears and grizzly bears vary in color ranging from blonde and light brown to dark brown and even black pigmentation.
Kodiak bears and polar bears are of the bear family Ursidae. Members of this family are plantigrade mammals, meaning like humans, they touch their feet flat on the ground. They have five toes on every foot, but some species lack toes and have claws. All the members of this family have a tiny tail which helps them in balancing while moving through snow and water.
The Kodiak bear has black or sometimes brown fur, whereas the polar bear has white fur. Both of these animals reside in freezing climates. They are huge and have strong jaw muscles with edged teeth. These bear species weigh around 1500 lb(680.3 kg). Kodiak bears and polar bears reproduce fertile cubs by interbreeding. Their diet consists of fish, berries, and vegetation. Polar bears can swim, whereas the Kodiak bear cannot swim due to the shape of their paws.
Due to their enormous size, a Kodiak brown bear and a polar bear possess numerous strengths as well as weaknesses. Let's discuss some of them.
Kodiak bears have tendons halfway below their bones, and the tendons in their humerus insert only one-fifth to one-sixth the way down the bone as they move. The bear can transform half of its muscular strength into power while exerting. A 200lb (90.71 kg) Kodiak bear is almost equivalent to 2.85 men. A Kodiak bear has 1.5 times more muscle mass when compared to a man when considering only the two-dimensional difference. In reality, Kodiak bears have a much thicker muscle mass which is equal to five men. Kodiak bears have a complex social structure as a consequence of being isolated from their other subspecies. This bear injures humans when approached.
Amongst their strengths, these bears have flaws too. The cubs need to be greatly protected. The sow (female) has approximately two to three cubs every three years, however, so many cubs are lost to predation, even when the mother has a fierce and robust body. It is a serious issue for them to escape from hunters and they face difficulties due to existing side-by-side with humans. Big brown bears cannot flourish in settled regions, unlike black bears. They travel from Ohio to California and Alaska to Mexico. They have gone extinct in California and Mexico, but some are left in Idaho, Montana, and Washington. Good numbers exist in Alaska and Canada.
Polar bears are known to be one of the largest bear species living on Earth currently. They are much bigger than the brown bear. Polar bears are robust species and live on floating ice rocks in the arctic ocean. Their incredible strength lets them sprint fast. A polar bear can be as fast as a horse. Their average speed is 25 miles per hour (40.23 kilometers per hour). The political climate and diminishing ice habitat are a great threat to the polar bear species. Adult polar bears are hunted and killed by wolves and walruses. Cubs under one year old sometimes serve as prey to wolves and other carnivorous animals.
Polar bears reside almost all over the circumpolar arctic. Polar bears are usually found near massive lands around the edge of the polar basin, which is an ideal environment for hunting. They inhabit ice habitats with polynyas, besides continental islands. They mainly live in countries like Canada, Alaska and, Russia. They spend most of their life on ice and snow and swim whenever needed. They are capable of swimming 100 mi (160.93 km) in a day and traveling around 70 mi (112.65 km) in open water.
Kodiak bears are one of the largest land-living carnivores. Their native habitat is Kodiak Island (Archipelago) and some other island groups in southwestern Alaska, southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon, California, and Washington.
Kodiak brown bears are also called Alaskan brown bears. They are the largest subspecies of brown bears alive today. The cubs leave the sows (female bears) at the age of three to five years. Adult male bears (boars) are hunted and killed by hunters. They live for 20-25 years. The oldest Kodiak brown bear was found to be 27 years old.
Similar to Kodiak brown bears, polar bears wean their cubs, but it differs from region to region. Mostly, cubs are weaned at the age of two and a half years. After several weeks of getting used to a new climate, the mother and cubs depart and begin their journey to the sea ice to feed on seals. Polar bears' lifespan is up to 25-30 years. The oldest polar bear found was 42 years old.
The estimated population of the Kodiak bear is 6,190 and 80 % of them are found in Kodiak native areas like Alaska and Kodiak Island, with the rest of the species being distributed in the home ranges of the Aleutian Islands and the Cook inlet regions. To increase the likelihood of continued existence, these bears need to be resourceful.
The current polar bear population is between 20,000-25,000. Large groups of polar bears suffer globally due to the melting of ice caps. As long as climate change continues, it is always going to be a fight for polar bears. Polar bear scientists suggest that even if the present state looks shakily stable, these bear species have a poor future. The polar bear habitat is gradually diminishing.
Growing human population and urbanization is also a threat to both bear's population. Warming temperatures have a great impact on polar bears' population; scientists fear for their survival due to descending numbers. Northern bears might benefit from readily accessible food, whereas the southern bears might find food difficult to access, and often, human-bear encounters happen. Polar bears are obligated to fast for a long time due to the melting of sea ice. As a consequence, their reproduction rates and overall health fall drastically over time.
Foxe basin is a shelter to one of Canada's largest bear populations. The Chukchi sea polar bears, Western Hudson bay population, Southern Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, and Kane basin groups have a conservation status that is still unclear.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Kodiak bear vs polar bear, then why not take a look at do polar bears live in Antarctica or Polar Bear Facts.
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