10 Facts About Polar Bears

polar bear 10 facts

Polar bears are excellent swimmers, yet prefer not to run due to its drain on energy reserves. Instead, they use their powerful front paws as paddles to steer through the water.

Polar bears may often appear to be white, but in reality their fur is translucent with a hollow core and contains black pigmentation. Light can scatter off of their dense, insulating coat to give the illusion that they appear white.

1. They’re the largest land carnivores

Polar bears inhabiting the Arctic are dependent on sea ice for hunting and breeding purposes, making them some of the largest land carnivores on Earth (weighing up to 800 kg or 2,00 pounds).

As they swim, otters use their webbed front paws as paddles while keeping them flat against the body – they have even been known to cover distances of over 100 miles in one swim!

Polar bears may appear white due to their thick fur, but they’re actually jet black underneath that dense coat that allows them to blend into their Arctic surroundings and soak up the warmth from the sun’s warming rays. Polar bears tend to live alone; only coming together for mating and raising cubs; Churchill in Manitoba Canada has become known as “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”, as hundreds of these majestic creatures pass through on their way from Hudson Bay each fall.

2. They’re the only bears to have a double set of incisors

Polar bears, commonly found in Arctic regions, are highly carnivorous creatures. Seals comprise their primary food source but they will also consume fish, crustaceans, carrion and plants in their diets.

These large hunters use their keen sense of smell to detect seals, often stalking or waiting at breathing holes in the ice to catch prey. Once ready to strike, their sharp canines use one quick bite to break through tough hides and secure prey in one swift move.

These bears’ canine teeth and jaws have an uneven space called a diastema to hold prey securely in their jaws. Their pointed incisors serve as effective scissors when it comes to cutting meat, while their serrated-knife-like molars and premolars help the bear easily chew through seal meat.

3. They’re the only bears to have a double set of molars

Polar bears possess two sets of molars, making them among the most carnivorous bear species. Their sharp front incisors allow for grasping prey while their long canines can shear flesh; plus their back teeth are better equipped for grinding plant material than brown bears who are generally omnivorous.

Polar bears possess jagged molars and premolars that are more effective at crushing through tough, frozen meat from hunted seals or carcasses than flat crushing molars of other bear species, providing more efficient processing of frozen prey such as seals. On average, they possess the strongest bite among all bear species with 1,200 pounds of pressure per bite!

Polar bears, like other mammals, are diphyodont, meaning they possess two sets of teeth: deciduous (known as milk teeth in mammals), which fall out when infants reach maturity, replaced by more prominent adult teeth later. Female polar bears tend to den on land or at sea ice edges during Arctic winter to give birth.

4. They’re the only bears to have a double set of teeth

Polar bears possess canines and incisor teeth which are placed rostrally inside their mouths, while their caudally placed back “cheek” teeth (used to crack through bones during hunting) allow for efficient chewing and swallowing of food.

These jagged, sharp molars and premolars resemble serrated steak knives rather than the flat crushing molars found in other bear species, making it easier for these bears to grind through blubber of hunted seals or other large carnivores they consume during hunting expeditions.

Arctic predators like polar bears sit atop an intricate food web that includes algae growing on sea ice, microorganisms feeding on it, fish eating the microorganisms, seals eating them themselves – eventually ending up as food for polar bears who consume seals themselves! Their environment is changing fast; therefore they need our assistance more than ever now to survive; read Lindsay Moore’s lovely science-based children’s book Sea Bear for further insight.

5. They’re the only bears to have a double set of nostrils

Polar bears have become one of the most iconic representatives for climate change awareness, appearing in Coca-Cola ads and serving as climate change posters. But these Arctic giants are more than just iconic; they possess exceptional intelligence and unique behaviors.

One such technique involves hunting techniques that utilize smell: they use their sense of smell to locate breathing holes on ice sheets where seals congregate before creeping up behind their prey and attacking by burrowing into the water and cutting off its escape route.

They’re also adept swimmers, employing alternate strokes of their forelimbs to generate power and navigate themselves through the water. Their feet have bumpy papillae similar to what you’d find on your tongue that help grip ice and snow for stability, enabling them to swim up to 10 km per hour (6 mph). In addition, they’re known to walk great distances both on land and water surfaces.

6. They’re the only bears to have a double set of eyes

Polar bear fur appears white due to air spaces between their hairs that scatter and reflect visible light, helping keep them warm in winter conditions. Their thick layer of fat keeps them cozy.

A mother polar bear will typically teach her cubs how to survive in their Arctic habitat by teaching them skills such as swimming and hunting seals for food; these lessons could last for a number of months before moving onto other tasks.

Polar bears possess an incredible sense of smell that enables them to locate seal breathing holes on the ice and wait patiently until one surfaces for attack – they can even detect seals beneath one meter (3ft) of snow cover!

WWF is committed to raising awareness of the threats polar bears face, including shrinking sea ice which is essential for their survival. You can do your part and donate today – or track one on our Bear Tracker app!

7. They’re the only bears to have a double set of ears

Polar bears (Ursus Maritimus), Arctic’s top marine predators and living near sea ice for much of their time, are one of the best examples of their kind in North America.

Their thick coats and dense layers of blubber serve to insulate them from cold temperatures; yet, these animals are also excellent swimmers who can travel long distances between land and sea ice, and strong enough to overcome storm or currents when necessary.

Their large paws act like paddles while their front legs trail behind to steer. Their feet feature smooth bumps called papillae that grip onto icy surfaces to keep slippery seal prey from slipping off their surfaces or to avoid slipperiness on slippery ice surfaces, while their fur is water-repellent so as to minimize heat loss; their fur can even shed excess water quickly after swimming sessions allowing them to shake themselves dry after each swim! This adaptation is crucial since protein digestion needs water while expelling excess nitrogen requires energy expenditure!

8. They’re the only bears to have a double set of claws

Polar bears use thick, curved claws to grip slippery seal prey and hold onto the ice. Their claws also serve for digging up vegetation or digging holes for digging purposes.

Polar bears stand apart from other bear species by having hollow outer fur layers that reflect light to help blend in with their Arctic environments and remain camouflaged from view. Furthermore, their skin contains layers of blubber that help retain body heat for long periods without food consumption.

Polar bears lack the speed necessary to capture seals in open water, so they use unconventional means such as breaking into pup dens, waiting near breathing holes or at ice’s edge, or stalking those that have hauled out. Polar bears also excel at scavenging for carcasses of dead whales and birds that they find on land or water surfaces.

9. They’re the only bears to have a double set of teeth

Polar bears possessing carnivorous heterodont dentition can exploit both meat and plant sources in their diets. Incisors help remove excess blubber while canines grasp prey before torn tough hides are torn off while jagged premolars and molars grind and chew the cud.

These teeth, known as carnassial teeth, reflect the predatory lifestyle of Arctic hunters. Together with canine teeth they form a formidable attacking force capable of penetrating thick seal bodies.

Polar bears have evolved unique feet adapted for the Arctic landscape. Their pads feature numerous tiny papillae which help prevent slipperiness on ice surfaces and are especially helpful when hunting seals, their primary prey. Polar bears also possess tremendous swimming skills which enable them to cover great distances quickly to reach sea ice.

10. They’re the only bears to have a double set of nostrils

Polar bears’ nostrils are situated on either side of their head and face, enabling them to breath through both at the same time, which allows them to hunt cooperatively without losing any sense of smell. This adaptation allows them to hunt effectively in groups while still remaining capable of sensing scent.

These animals are strong swimmers and can reach speeds up to 10 kilometers an hour (6 mph). Alternating strokes from their forelimbs provide propulsion while trailing behind remain motionless.

Polar bears can detect seals – their primary prey – up to one km away by sniffing air. Their forepaws have large webbed pads to assist them while swimming, and small papillae on their soles create friction against the ice, helping prevent them from slipping while also serving as thermal barriers between themselves and the ground.

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