In our last article on polar bear facts we learned about some unique and unbelievable trivia about these Lords of the Arctic. We did not mention anything about their scientific classification, about their dietary habits and reproduction and the threats they face. In this article on polar bear facts we are going to cover those elements in details. This is going to be somewhat mundane but perfect in case you are looking for some facts about the white bears for your school homework. So, let us begin…
Before we start with the facts, let us take a look at scientific classification of polar bears:
|Binomial Name||Ursus maritimus|
Polar Bear Facts: 1-5 | Physical Characteristics
1. Of all bear species that exist on earth, the polar bear is the largest. However, there is one exception to this. There is a subspecies of brown bear known as the Kodiak bear which is just as large as polar bear.
2. As per Polar Bear International, a bear’s height is measured from its shoulders when it stands on all its four legs. With this measurement method in mind, the average height of polar bear ranges between 3.5 feet (1 meter) to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
3. However, if a male adult polar bear stands on its hind legs, it can reach the height of 10 feet or more. The tallest specimen till date has been recorded at 11 feet and 1 inch tall.
4. If we try to measure the length of a polar bear all the way from its head to its rump, the average length is 7.25 feet (2.2 meters) to 8 feet (2.5 meters). However, if the tail is thrown in the measurement, the length increases by another 3 inches to 5 inches.
5. What about the weight? The average weight of a polar bear ranges between 351 kilograms and 544 kilograms (775 lbs. and 1,200 lbs.). However, the heaviest one on record till date is the same one that was the tallest while standing on its hind legs. It weighed a whopping 2,209 lbs. That translates into 1,000 kilograms.
Polar Bear Facts: 6-10 | Physical Characteristics
6. Interestingly, the weight we mentioned above in #5 is that of male adults. Female adults are not as heavy as that of males. Female adult polar bears have an average weight of 50 kilograms to 295 kilograms (330 lbs. to 650 lbs.).
7. Polar bears (as opposed to other bears) have a body build that’s far more elongated. Their nose and skull are also longer. They have stocky legs, small tail and small ears. Because they live icy Arctic regions, their feet have also adapted accordingly.
8. In adult polar bears, the feet may be 30 centimeters across. Such large feet are designed for weight/load distribution when these large animals walk on ice sheets that are thin. Such wide feet also help in propulsion when they swim.
9. Looking at the paws of polar bears one can find small and soft dermal bumps in order to provide traction when they walk on ice. Also, their claws are stocky and short which allows them to properly grip ice and heavy prey.
10. The claws of polar bears are scooped deeply on the underside. This is probably because they need to dig into ice pretty often. Such claws assist in digging.