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Polar Bears

Information About Polar Bears, the Largest Bear Species


With their long, thick white fur, lanky bodies and large paws, polar bears are an easily-recognizable species. They have also become "poster bears" for climate change and conservation due to their dependence on icy habitats for survival. You can learn more about polar bears through the links and facts below.

1. Polar Bear Profile

Polar Bear by a whale bone vertebrea on a stony beach Spitsbergen Atrctic
Gail Johnson/Moment Open/Getty Images
Polar bears are the largest bear species. They can grow to a height of 8-11 feet and a length of about 8 feet. They also weigh about 500-1,700 pounds. As you might guess, polar bears are in the same family (Ursidae) as other bear species. To learn more about polar bear classification, feeding, reproduction, and conservation, click here.

2. 10 Facts About Polar Bears

Just the facts, please. Did you know that polar bears are the only bear species that are considered to be marine mammals? This is because of their webbed feet - a characteristic that also helps them swim long distances, which may become more necessary if Arctic ice continues to decrease. Click here for ten fascinating facts about polar bears.

3. Where Do Polar Bears Live?

Let's cut to the chase. If you want to see a polar bear, where should you go? Hint: better bring some warm clothes. Polar bears live in Arctic regions - they are native to Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland/Denmark and Norway. If you don't feel like traveling to a country in the Arctic to see a polar bear, this article also includes links to a couple video cameras where you can watch polar bears in action from the comfort of your home or office.

4. Polar Bear Habitat: The Arctic

The Arctic is a term used to refer to the region between the North Pole and the Arctic Circle, an imaginary line that stretches around the Earth at 66 degrees, 32 minutes North latitude. The Arctic is a cold, icy region, inhabited by many types of marine life, including polar bears, whales, pinnipeds (including seals and walruses), fish, and invertebrates, and plankton. There are also millions of people who live in this region, despite its cold conditions throughout the year.

5. What Do Polar Bears Eat?

Do you know a polar bear's favorite type of prey? Hint: it's furry and blubbery. Learn the answer here.

6. Facts About Bears

Polar bears are in the same family as other bear species. There are 8 species of bears. These range in size from the brown bear and polar bear at about 2,000 pounds to sun bears, which weigh about 300 pounds. Six of the eight bear species are classified as vulnerable or threatened. Click here to learn more about bears from About.com's Guide to Animals.

7. Polar Bear Pictures

Want to see some pictures of polar bears? Check out this image gallery from the Animals GuideSite, which features images of polar bears quarreling, sleeping, lounging and walking.

8. See Polar Bears in the Wild

This article from the Guide to Adventure Travel features information on ecotours in Churchill, which is in Manitoba, Canada. Guides will take you to see polar bears in the summer or winter.

9. Polar Bears and Huskies

On the lighter side of things, here are some great images of a polar bear and huskies at play. Did a wild polar bear really play with some sled dogs as the viral email says? Learn what the About.com Guide to Urban Legends thinks about this story.

10. Another Viral Email: Polar Bear Attack

Those with a strong stomach can check out another viral email - one that has been circulating since June 2006 that describes a supposed polar bear attack. Is it a true story? (I hope not, given the wounds. Yuck.)
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