The polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore and one of the largest of the bear family.

Overview

Distribution: northern polar regions occurring in 5 nations - Greenland, Norway, Canada, United States and Russia and also on Arctic sea pack ice usually within 300km of land. Some individuals wander up to 200km inland.

Population:  20,000 - 25,000 with 60% living in Canada.

IUCN Status: vulnerable species

Habitat: favourite habitat is a combination of pack ice, open water and coastal land.

Polar BearDescription: coat colour varies from pure white to shades of yellow. Small ears; black eyes and nose.

Height: 1.6m to shoulder

Length: 2.2 - 2.5m.

Size of feet: 30cm long, 25cm wide.

Weight: male 400 - 650 kg, female 300 - 350kg. Polar bears have actually shrunk in size compared to their predecessors in the early 20th century.  This could be because of pollution and shrinking sea ice making it harder for them to find food and therefore grow.

Life span: about 30 years.

Food: carnivorous, eating mainly the ringed seal, although small land mammals, carcasses of marine mammals and reindeer, berries etc, also form part of the diet.  They are at the top of the food chain and are important at keeping the seal population in check as well as being vital for many other food web connections.

The polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore and one of the largest of the bear family, alongside with the omnivorous Kodiak bear which can sometimes weigh over 900 kg.

Read More: Polar Bear Habits

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