Ready for an icy adventure, gang? Here at National Geographic Kids we’re heading north – far north! – to meet one of nature’s toughest animals in our 10 facts about polar bears!

 

Ten polar bear facts

1) Polar bears are found in the frozen wilds of the Arctic, in Canada, Alaska (US), Greenland, Russia and Norway.

2) These are seriously big bears, gang. Adult polar bears can measure over 2.5m long and weigh around 680kg. Their huge size and weight make them the largest living carnivores (meat eaters) on Earth!

3) Polar bears are well adapted to survive in one of the harshest environments on our planet. As well as their thick fur, they have a layer of fat, called blubber, that insulates (protects) their bodies from the frosty air and near-freezing water. Polar bears also have black skin under their glistening coat, which helps them soak up the Sun’s rays and keep warm.

4) These magnificent mammals have an incredible sense of smell which they use to track their favourite grub, seals*. In fact, their sense of smell is so good, they can sniff out prey from up to 16km away!

5) Despite their size and bulk, polar bears are excellent swimmers, and have been spotted in waters over 100km offshore. They can comfortably swim at around 10km/h using their slightly webbed, 30cm wide paws like paddles in the water.

Subscribe to National Geographic Kids magazine

6) Although good swimmers, polar bears aren’t quick enough to reliably catch seals in open water. Instead, they depend on the ice as a hunting platform. They wait near seal breathing holes or at the ice’s edge for a seal to surface. They then snatch if from the sea and…gulp!

7) Did you know that a polar bear’s fur isn’t white? It’s actually transparent with a hollow core that reflects light. This helps the bears blend in with their surroundings – a useful trick, especially when hunting wary seals!

8) Female polar bears give birth to their cubs in snow dens (in November or December), where the family is protected from the harsh Arctic environment. At birth, the cubs are only around 30cm long and weigh around half a kilogram – that’s about the same as a guinea pig!

9) The polar family emerge from the den four to five months later. The cubs will stay with their mother for about two years, during which time they learn the skills needed to survive in the Arctic.

10) Sadly, these incredible creatures are classified as “vulnerable”. The biggest threat to polar bears is climate change. Rising global temperatures means that sea ice is melting earlier and forming later each year, leaving polar bears less time to hunt for food. But the good news is you can help these amazing animals! Check out NG Kids’ Five Top Conservation Tips for some environment-saving ideas.

*Polar bears occasionally feed on other arctic marine mammals, too, including whales, walruses and narwhals.
Photo: Getty Images UK.

Did you enjoy our 10 facts about polar bears? Let us know by leaving a comment, below!

 

Likes

LEAVE A COMMENT

THANK YOU

While you wait for it to be checked and approved why not to add a pre-selected message and a cool badge

WELL DONE,
YOUR COMMENT
HAS BEEN ADDED!

COMMENTS

  • Ticia

    hey this is great facts, love it thanks to this facts great 4 my homework assessment task, thanks

  • Tina Tubbs

    This was wonderful. I'm teaching my third grade students to write an informational report . This is our first and we will do lots of it together. Thanks so much for your help and the wonderful information!

  • Norwich

    Awesme

  • jeff

    cool

  • buttercup

    cool

  • bridie

    The polar bears are so cute

  • Emily

    awwww, polar bears? cuteeeeee!

  • abyes1579

    cool the fact about polar bears

  • Nate

    useful for my homework

  • shreiya

    Looks cute

  • B

    Love it

  • Evie

    Why are polar bears endangered?

  • agota

    i love polar bears and this really helped me learn about these amazing creatures

  • Hayles

    I am glad I learnt about polar bears when I get to school I will tell my friends and let them know about all these 10 fact it is so exiting!!!!!!!

  • Cool_JeffDixon9123

    I say that polar bears are savage but cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Polar bears are fat

  • sam

    i love the pictures of the polar bears. they are so cute. the facts are awesome and are very interesting. I love polar bears

  • Niamh S

    Cool facts. I ♥️ Polar bears.

  • katrina

    this helped me so much with my artic project I had to do based on polar bears and penguins! it is great for kids who have difficulties with their grammar as this GREAT website words it differently and is fun.

  • Diego

    I liked the ten facts about polar bears.

  • Hoptop32

    I love polar bears!

  • Desire

    I'm studying polar bears

  • inez

    I like your facts i also like your polar bear pictures because they look like great big teddies that i can hug I LOVE POLAR BEARS

  • legend 27

    save the polar bears!

  • Daya

    Now I know a lot about polar bears

  • Fffftfttf

    I Love POLAR Bears

  • wow

  • Savannah

    I think these facts are fantastic as I have never heard of them before and they are very interesting

  • Samantha

    This is interesting!

Woodland Trust back to school

More Like General Animals

General Animals

Autumn Animals!

Check out our gallery of beautiful autumn animals!
General Animals

Create an elephant artwork to help the herds!

Calling all animal-loving artists…
General Animals

Hedgehog Facts!

Get the lowdown on one of our planet’s cutest critters with our fascinating hedgehog facts!
General Animals

Scientists invent device that lets dogs talk (yes, really!)

The device could help dogs who care for people with disabilities