Interesting Facts About Polar Bears

Updated on February 8, 2019
Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer. He currently works as Curator of Penguins in Dubai.

Interesting Facts About Polar Bears

The polar bear may be the largest land carnivore and a cunning, dangerous and fearless hunter but those qualities aside it is a popular and much-loved animal. As the only pure white bear, everyone is familiar with the polar bear. There are books and stories about polar bears. They are associated with Glacier Mints, freezers, and cold drinks. They are seen in cartoons with penguins, which they would never see in the wild. There are polar bear clubs and polar bear toys.

Polar bears are popular. Everyone likes them. In spite of this, they are under threat in the wild. The ice is melting. Polar bear habitat is growing smaller because of global warming.

Learn a bit more about the wonderful Polar Bear from these bite-sized facts listed below.

Polar Bear


32 Facts About Polar Bears

  1. Polar bears number in the first five most popular animals with zoo visitors.
  2. Polar bears are not actually white in colour but rather have clear hollow hairs covering their bodies. The reflection of light makes them look white.
  3. In captivity sometimes they turn green when algae grow in the hollow shafts of the hairs.
  4. There was at least one purple polar bear when dye got into the hair shafts.
  5. Polar bears have black skin.
  6. They normally live alone.
  7. The scientific name of the polar bear is Ursus maritimus.
  8. They are under severe threat because of global warming and habitat loss. The ice is melting.
  9. The polar bear is the world’s largest land predator.
  10. They are exceptional swimmers and are known to swim hundreds of miles.
  11. Polar bears are capable of adjusting their metabolic rate.
  12. The average swimming speed of a polar bear is around six miles per hour.
  13. They have a very keen sense of smell.
  14. Males are much bigger than females, and so are extremely sexually dimorphic.
  15. A polar bear's liver is so rich in Vitamin A that it would be poisonous to a human who ate it.
  16. A group of polar bears is known as a "celebration."
  17. They have better colour vision capabilities than most carnivores.
  18. Polar bears will normally have between 1-3 cubs.
  19. The female usually gives birth every three years.
  20. Polar bears have a layer of fat (blubber) three to four inches thick which helps protect them from the cold.
  21. Adult males weigh up to 1,550 pounds.
  22. Females weigh up to 700 pounds.
  23. Babies only weigh around a pound when born.
  24. Babies are known as cubs.
  25. Despite the often repeated fact that all polar bears are left-handed, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim.
  26. A polar bear would never eat a Penguin because the two would never meet. They live at opposite ends of the planet.
  27. The word "arctic" comes from the Greek for "near the bear" or "northern."
  28. The word "Antarctic" literally means "without bear," and it is in the Antarctic that many species of penguin live.
  29. Polar bears do not cover their dark noses with their paws to hide in the snowy white. This is an urban myth.
  30. A big male can stand at about 10’ tall.
  31. Polar bears are often considered to be marine mammals along with sea lions, seals, and whales.
  32. They are opportunistic feeders. They will catch and kill seals and scavenge whale carcasses. They will eat fish, berries, and birds. They are also fond of eating out of human garbage cans, which can make them a problem.

Polar Bear Relaxing

© 2011 Peter Dickinson


Submit a Comment
  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    7 years ago from South East Asia

    Thank you Elizabeth. Glad I was able to help.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    this was very interesting to me. this was interesting to me because 1/2 of these things i did not know.... but now I do. Thanks to this website i was able to finish my science project about polar bears. I got all my info from here.

    Sincerely, Elizabeith

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

    This hub is full of fascinating details about this wondrous giant animal. Polar bears are my favorite attraction when I visit theme parks like Sea World Orlando and the San Diego Zoo. I hope they are able to adapt to their changing environment that is shrinking.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Thank you Hello,hello

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    9 years ago from London, UK

    Wonderful, complete information about this magnificient animal.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    I thought someone would mention the Kodiak. True enough there are some exceptionally big specimens of Kodiak and I believe that perhaps the heaviest recorded bear was a Kodiak...there may even be a tallest there somewhere...but as an average the Polar Bear is the tallest and the heaviest.

  • feenix profile image


    9 years ago

    Peter, very, very interesting hub and I learned something. I always thought the Kodiak bear was larger than the Polar bear.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Thank you Peter. Have checked out your Hubs. If I ever get round to buying gems you will be the man I come to see.

  • PETER LUMETTA profile image


    9 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

    Hi Peter,

    Interesting Hub, I lived in Alaska for 30+ years and have seen them all but not the Polar bears. I have seen many "trophy" bears stuffed in the airports and hotel throughout Alaska. I have a lot of similar Hubs come by and take a look, I'm following you,


  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I think maybe humans have messed things up too much and many things are beyond repair.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    It is sad Susan. Depressing too if you think to much about it. The one good thing is that nature has a way of balancing things out in the end unless we mess things up further still.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I feel so bad for this beautiful bears with the ice melting. I sure hope that they survive.


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