Must-Know Facts About Polar Bears And Their Cubs That Will Surprise You

Sridevi Tolety
Jan 23, 2024 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Feb 15, 2022
Edited by Kelly Quinn
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
A polar bear and cubs fact is that an adult polar bear can reach 10 ft (3 m) and weigh over 1500 lb (680 kg)
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.9 Min

Polar bears have strong, wide legs with flattened feet and webbed toes, to help them when walking on ice and for swimming.

We can find polar bears on the Arctic sea ice and swimming in coastal regions close to the Arctic. Polar bears are good swimmers with webbed front paws that they use to swim.

Polar bears are similar to brown bears but have modified bodies to live on ice and snow in the country's coldest settings. The black skin of polar bears absorbs heat better, and a thick white suit holds water and provides cover in the ice and snow.

The polar bear is one of the largest animals. Polar bears are 8-10 ft (2.4-3 m) long. Adult males are somewhat larger than adult females. The weight of a huge polar bear is over 1700 lb (771 kg), whereas a large female polar bear is almost half the weight. After a successful hunt, bears typically weigh more than 50% of their body weight. A newborn polar bear cub is 0.7-1.14 ft (0.24-0.35 m) and weighs up to 1.5 lb (0.6 kg). Polar bear cubs are born blind and helpless in their den. Polar bear cubs do have very short, light, and blond hair. The cubs don't have excess fat to go out in the cold. As a result, the mother polar bear will not let her cubs leave the den. All the polar bear's family members are meat-eaters. They primarily consume seals by waiting for them to come to the surface. When there is a scarcity of seal blubber in the late summer and autumn, they eat their own cubs of varying ages.

Life Of A Polar Bear

Polar bears love to stay alone, except in the mating season. Polar bears breed in early summer, as the weather starts to warm up. Females have delayed implantation, which allows a female to assess her state of life before the beginning of gestation, and three-year phasing that includes carrying, feeding, and giving birth. The gestation period is around eight months. A female polar bear can give birth to up to four cubs, and twins are common. When cubs become three, mother polar bears leave them in the den and get separated from their cubs to hunt and survive. After one year, the mother bear will have one more litter.

Mother polar bears need to gain weight before entering dens to give birth to cubs, and they must gain up to 441 lb (220 kg). To make the den, she makes a little snowbank that is big enough for her to turn around and waits for the snow to cover the entry. In the wild, polar bears' life span is around 25-30 years.

Where Polar Bears Live

Polar bears endure the winter with the help of their two-layered fur. They reside in the northern Arctic habitat, where temperatures are roughly -49°F (-45°C). Polar bears are associated with Arctic sea ice, where they hunt for their prey. Polar bears are found in five countries. Alaska (United States), Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Norway. According to scientists, there are 19 different populations, some shared by multiple countries.

The habitat of polar bears constantly changes with changing sea ice. The quantity of polar bears is determined by the conditions at sea and the number of seal prey. Polar bears don't have colonies as their habitat constantly shifts along with season change, increasing in winter and retreating in summer.

How Polar Bears Raise Cubs

Mother polar bears are very protective of their newborn cubs, even risking their own lives to defend them. Mother polar bears make maternity dens before the birth of cubs. Dens provide a warm place for the newborn cubs as they don't have fur immediately after birth, which may increase the risk of them freezing. The den also protects the cubs from predators, adult polar bears, and Arctic foxes. Cubs are born blind and have no fur. Within the first month, newborn cubs open their eyes to see the world.

A polar bear cub starts walking in the den after two months. Cubs grow quickly before leaving the den. At first, they get heat from mothers' body warmth, and milk. They take quick and short tours outside to get accustomed to the weather and natural world. Mothers teach them how to hunt, swim, and survive in their habitat by hunting for seals to eat. Polar bear cubs are also quite amusing. They fight, especially the young ones.

eat their own cubs of varying ages

Fun Facts About Polar Bear And Cubs

Polar bears are the largest surviving carnivores and marine mammals. Adult males can grow up to 10 ft (3 m) in length. Polar bears' sense of smell is very good. Their fur is white, and their skin is black. Baby polar bears are frequently observed imitating their moms. They attempt to drink water, stretch, and consume food in the manner of their mothers. Even though there are few trees in the Arctic, polar bear cubs can climb trees. Polar bears use a range of noises to communicate. Polar bears, in the wild, love to spend time looking for food on sea ice. They cruise across the Arctic waters for months at a time.

The milk of polar bears contains a lot of fat through which the cubs will get nourishment for a long period. With the help of the milk, the polar bear cub will have fast growth and put on a fat covering layer to help them survive the cold. The largest polar bear, to date, weighed 2208 lb (1002 kg). They were discovered in the year 1960 in Alaska. Polar bears have a very strong sense of smell, and they can sniff out a seal from 20 mi (32.2 km) away. A sleuth is the term used to refer to a group of polar bears.

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Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

Sridevi Tolety picture

Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

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