Polar bears are the largest carnivorous land mammals on Earth. They are about seven to eight feet long, measured from the nose to the tip of their very short tail. Male polar bears are much larger than the females. A large male can weigh more than 1,700 pounds, while a large female is about half that size (up to 1,000 pounds). Bears can weigh about 50 percent more after a successful hunting season than they do at the start of the next; most of this additional weight is accumulated fat. A newborn polar bear weighs only about 1.5 pounds.
Polar bears have many adaptations for life in the frigid Arctic, including dense fur and a thick layer of fat to keep them warm, as well as small bumps under their paws to stop them from slipping on the ice, according to Polar Bears International. They are excellent swimmers, and their scientific name, Ursus maritimus, translates to “sea bear,” according to the San Diego Zoo. Polar bears depend heavily on the ocean environment and are the only bears to be considered marine mammals.
Polar bears are greedy animals but they know what they must eat in order to survive in the arctic. In seals bears eat the fatty part which is blubber. The polar bear’s stomach is large enough to hold up to 50 – 90 kilograms of meal in one time. They are known to consume 10 kilograms of blubber in less than 30 minutes. In Russia, a captive female bear ate up to 80 kg of sea blubber in one-half of a day.
Size & Appearance Of A Polar Bear
Polar bears are usually 3.5 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters) tall at the shoulder on all fours, but an adult male may reach more than 10 feet (3 m) when standing on its hind legs, according to Polar Bears International. In 1960, a polar bear that was killed in Alaska stood 12 feet (3.7 m) tall on its hind legs, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
Male polar bears usually weigh between 770 pounds and more than 1,300 pounds (350 to 600 kilograms). The 12-foot-tall Alaskan bear shot in 1960 is the heaviest recorded bear and weighed 2,210 pounds (1,000 kg). Females weigh half as much as their male counterparts, at 330 to 650 pounds (150 to 295 kg), according to Polar Bears International.
Behavior Of A Polar Bear
Polar bears tend to live solitary lives except when mating, when a female raising her cubs forms a family group, or when many bears are attracted to a food source like a beached whale. Young polar bears spending the summer ashore on the Hudson Bay coast will frequently play with each other, most commonly with their siblings. Polar bears near Churchill on the coast of Hudson Bay are even known to play with chained sled dogs without killing them, which they could easily do.
How Much Does A Polar Bear Weigh – Polar Bear Weight
Polar Bears being the largest land carnivore, stand at the top of the food chain pyramid in the Arctic. This fact makes one wonder about the size and weight of the polar bears. Among all the bear species, polar bears are one of the heaviest and the tallest. One of the main reasons behind polar bears’ heavyweight is the large fat deposits under their skin. We have gathered complete information on Polar Bear Weight that will give you a clear picture of How Much Does a Polar Bear Weigh. To make it even more clear for you we have compared its weight with some other bear species so that you can know where it stands.
Why Do Polar Bears Weigh So Much?
Polar bears are heavy because they carry a lot of fat to stay warm. They usually have around 3.5 inches of fat around their bodies.
Animals adapt to their environment, from their physiology to behavior and diet, for one purpose – survival.
Polar bears are no different. They’re the largest carnivores on Earth because they have to be.
Unlike other members of the Ursidae, Polar bears have to survive the harsh Arctic landscape they inhabit.
The Arctic faces extreme temperatures, and that’s especially true during the winters. Winter temperatures in the Arctic are lower than anywhere else in the world. In fact, temperatures can hit as low as -76 F in some high areas of ice sheets.
Unlike humans, Polar bears can’t trek down to their local store for winterwear or rely on heaters to keep them warm. And, let’s not forget that Polar bears tend to hunt and feed well in the winters.
That means Polar bears have adapted over time to ensure they’re equipped to hunt and feed in winters (when the sea ice freezes over greatly). They’ve done so by growing larger than any other bear species on Earth because, this way, they have more room for fat.
What Do Polar Bears Eat – Polar Bears Diet
Polar bears are the most carnivorous member of the bear species. Other bear species are omnivorous but polar bears’ habitat is devoid of vegetation so their diet mostly consists of meat. They are the powerful and top predators of the arctic region. These gigantic bears are marine mammals and they spend most of their time on Arctic ice sheets. Their adaptations to harsh climate let them move across land, sea, and ice. We have researched and gathered the whole information on “What Do Polar Bears Eat” and list down the menu of Polar Bears Diet.
How Much Do Polar Bears Eat A Day?
It’s not every day that polar bears find animals they need to eat. Bears must rely on small animals if they couldn’t find one of their favorite meals (seals). In the harsh Arctic environment it is reasonable to assume that bears spend several weeks in starvation because the weather keeps changing and the prey keeps moving and so as the bear. White bears supplement their food source with reindeer, waterfowl, muskox, kelp, berries, and small rodents.
How Much Seals Do Polar Bears Eat A Year?
No wonder it’s a mammoth task to observe the bear’s diet each year. There is no absolute estimate for the number of seals a polar bear kill a year probably because the bear’s home range is too wide to cover. Scientists have studied the dietary behavior of polar bears in the Canadian High Arctic and Devon Island.
The polar bear’s stomach is large enough to hold up to 50 – 90 kilograms of meal in one time. They are known to consume 10 kilograms of blubber in less than 30 minutes.
They studied the behavior from early April to early August when much of sea ice disappears. It means that biologists have not been able to know the precise behavior of polar bears for nearly 68 – 70% of the year. The Canadian High Arctic remains in darkness for the rest of the months. Besides, the polar bear’s habitat is extremely remote—making it impossible for scientists to observe the animal’s predatory behavior.
How Do Polar Bears Catch Their Prey?
Seals spend 90% of their day underwater. However, ringed seals are mammals and have to breathe. It is at this time when they become visible and are vulnerable to polar bears.
Seals spend most of their time underwater under deep layers of ice, making it difficult for the polar bear to locate. Seals use holes in the ice to the surface and breathe.
How Do Polar Bears Get Their Food?
Polar bears have incredible claws with which to grab prey so that it doesn’t escape. They use their claws, whether it’s waiting for their prey to breathe in an ice vent or viewing it from afar and cautiously approaching.
The polar bear is an explorer who undertakes long walks to find prey that can satisfy their hunger.
How Many Seals Does A Polar Bear Eat?
On average, the polar bear needs to eat a seal every five to six days for its body to produce enough fat to survive each year. This is a minimum amount, and if they are lucky to get more food, they will feed more frequently.
The fat produced by the polar bear becomes one of its main protective layers against the cold. Polar bears must constantly be building up their fat to not draw on their energy reserves. A polar bear must hunt about six seals a month, equivalent to about 1 and a quarter meals a week.