Polar bear standing on snow

Polar bear

The great ice bear

Type

Image of a giant panda

Mammals

Area

Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle

Endangered Status

Threatened

facts

size
up to 10 feet
length
The average bed is 6.25 feet long.
Polar bear compared to the size of a bed
food
meat
Carnivore
meat

Polar bears eat mainly seals; also walrus, beached whales, caribou, and seaweed.

habitat
tundra
Tundra habitat

description

A polar bear's face shows its thick fur

Arctic explorers

Making their homes in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia, polar bears live on ice and snow, but that’s not a problem—these bears have some cool ways to stay warm with 2 different layers of hair and thick fat.

Polar bear roar
A polar bear peaks its head out of a hole dug in snow as two others investigate

No hibernating

During winter, many bears stay warm by making a den and sleeping. Polar bears do not hibernate, but their body functions do slow down at this time. This is called “winter sleep,” as the bears can easily be awakened. A mother bear can give birth and nurse her young while in her winter sleep.

Two polar bear cubs with their mom

Butter-size baby

For such a big animal, polar bears sure start out small! A cub is about the size of a stick of butter when it is born. It is born hairless, with its eyes closed. Milk from polar bear mothers is 35 percent fat; this helps the cubs grow quickly. By springtime, they weigh more than 20 pounds and start exploring with their mother outside the den.