It is the largest land predator alive today, with 25,000 to 40,000 roaming through the Arctic region. Female polar bears reach sexual maturity at roughly five years of age and their offspring are relatively much smaller than human infants, weighing only around a pound at birth.
They appear in the spring and within a year can grow to man-size if provided with an abundance of food. The average male bear will grow to weigh over 1400 lbs and stand ten feet tall.
A fact about polar bears that you might not know is that their fur is not white, but that each hair is a colourless hollow tube that reflects sunlight during daylight hours. This serves to maintain the bear warm and because the coating is oily it does not mat when wet, which makes it effortless to shake off excess water and ice that may form after swimming.
Polar bears eat mostly seals which they search on the pack ice, either by waiting for them to surface at their breathing holes in the ice or by stalking them. On occasion they will hunt beneath the ice for their prey. They’ve slightly webbed front feet to aid them with forward movement in the water, while they steer with their strong back legs.
Their sole predator is man. Men have started to mine at the arctic for petroleum and coal, encroaching on their natural habitat, which makes food more challenging to find.