10 Cool Facts About Polar Bears
1. A polar bear’s skin (under its white fur) is actually black to help keep it warm. A polar bear’s white hairs are hollow to help it float while swimming.
2. A polar bear can growl, roar, chuff, hiss, whimper and purr.
3. An adult polar bear’s paw is the size of a dinner plate. Its footpads have small bumps on them, like those on a basketball, so the polar bear has traction on ice.
4. A sense of smell is a polar bear’s strongest sense. A polar bear can smell seals from several miles away.
5. Polar bears mainly eat ringed seals, but also eat bearded, harp and hooded seals as well as carcasses of beluga whales, walruses, narwhal whales, and bowhead whales.
6. Male polar bears are about 9 feet long (2.7 m) and weigh 1000 pounds (453.6 kg). A female polar bear is 8 feet long (2.4 m) and weigh 500 pounds (226.8 kg) (unless pregnant).
7. In the summer, a polar bear may not eat for 3 months. A mother polar bear won’t eat for 5 months while in a birthing lair. Polar bears do not hibernate.
8. Polar bears can hold their breath for 2 minutes. They doggy paddle with their front paws and steer with their rear paws while swimming.
9. A mother polar bear usually has twin cubs. At birth, cubs are the size of guinea pigs. They emerge from their den 3 months after being born so their mother can feed. They leave their mother after 2.5-3 years.
10. Polar bears can run faster than humans, but only for a few seconds.
Facts from children’s book The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond