You are here: Life > Mammals > Polar bear

Polar bear

Polar bear, Arctic, up to 3 m (10 ft) long The polar bear has a thick, white, waterproof coat. Underneath its skin there is a 10-centimetre (4-inch) thick, insulating layer of blubber. Its claws and hairs on the soles of its feet give it a grip on the ice. It is also an expert swimmer. The polar bear lives a solitary existence in the Arctic, where it feeds mainly on seals. Hungry polar bears are unpredictable animals and have been known to kill humans.


Polar bear on land, near the town of Churchill on the western coast of Hudson Bay. The hunting season ends for the polar bears...Read More >>Polar bear on land, near the town of Churchill on the western coast of Hudson Bay. The hunting season ends for the polar bears when the ice begins to melt and break up. They eat little during the summer until the sea freezes over again. Because the spring thaw is now happening several weeks earlier, as a result of global warming, Hudson Bay polar bear populations are falling sharply.A polar bear about to seize its prey, a seal
 

Catching seals

Polar bears spend most of the year on floating ice in the Arctic, where they hunt seals. Their white fur provides perfect camouflage as they hunt. Bears use their excellent sense of smell to sniff out breathing holes in the ice, where seals rise for air. As soon as a seal appears, a bear grabs it with a paw and drags it up on to the ice, killing it with a bite to the head to crush its skull.
 
 
 

Maternity dens

Along with the Kodiak bear, the polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore. It is more than twice the size of the Siberian tiger.

WHAT IS A
FLAME?


Find the answer