Polar Bear

Names: Polar Bear Ursus maritimus sea bear

Polar bears live in the north in arctic areas.

Polar bears eat mostly seals. Sometimes they also eat walrus, beluga whales, short-legged reindeer, birds, bird eggs, kelp, and beached whales. Polar bears are at the top of the food chain in the arctic. That means no other animals besides humans regularly hunt polar bears.

While polar bears are not endangered yet they are a threatened species. Scientists estimate that there are only 20,000 - 25,000 polar bears in the wild (2008). Climate change and the shrinking of the polar bears' habitat are the largest threat.

Male polar bears grow to around 2.5 to 3 meters (8 to 10 feet) tall and weigh around 250 to 770 kilograms (550 to 1,700 pounds). Female bears grow to around 1.8 to 2.5 meters (6 to 8 feet) and weigh 90 to 320 kilograms (200 to 700 pounds).

Polar bears usually live around 15-18 years in the wild. Some live into their mid 30's especially when raised in captivity.

Polar bears are strong swimmers.  They can swim for 60 miles non-stop.

The largest polar bear ever recorded was a male weighing 2,209 pounds.