40 Cool Polar Bear Facts for Kids 

Published May 16, 2022
polar bear on rock by water in Canada

You've probably seen polar bears in commercials, cartoons, and movies, but did you know these bears are quite fascinating in real life? From specialized fur for swimming in freezing waters to sliding on the ice to play, polar bears are interesting creatures. Get your fill of polar bear facts for kids right here.

Cool Facts About Polar Bears for Kids

Do you want to know what a polar bear eats? Are you curious about how much a polar bear weighs? You've come to the right place. Learn a few intriguing facts about polar bears you might not know.

  • Polar bears have a high-fat diet which mainly consists of seals.
  • Polar bears are big. In fact, they are the largest land carnivore.
  • Male polar bears can weigh about 1,500 pounds or more.
  • Groups of polar bears are called packs.
  • Polar bears can live for about 25 years.
  • Rolling in the snow is how they clean their fur.
  • Polar bears slide on the ice to play.
  • Polar bears might be big, but their babies are tiny. They are only about the size of a small tube of biscuits (one to two pounds) when born.
  • Pregnant polar bears make dens in snowbanks to have their babies.
  • Polar bears can stand 10 feet tall. Wow, that's a big bear.

Chill Polar Bear Habitat and Other Interesting Facts

Polar bears are so cool; and that's not just because they live in a cold climate. While you would need to put on several layers, goggles, and specialty boots to go somewhere that cold, they just hang out like the freezing weather is no big deal. Dive into some interesting polar bear habitat facts that might make you a little chilly.

  • Polar bears live in the Arctic. They are found in the U.S., Russia, Norway, Canada, and Greenland.
  • Polar bears roam the Arctic ice sheets to catch seals.
  • Since ice moves all the time, polar bears don't have territory like other animals.
  • They do a lot of traveling to find food. Polar bears travel about 19 miles a day for food.
  • Polar bears have big feet made for traveling to find seals.
  • Much like a horse, polar bears gallop to move around.
  • There are only about 20,000 polar bears globally, but this number is falling because of climate change.
  • Polar bears can sit for long periods, waiting for seals to poke their heads out of the ice.
  • Polar bears spend part of the year on land.

Polar Bear Adaptation Facts for Kids

Living in the Arctic isn't easy, so polar bears boast some exciting adaptations to make life on ice more manageable. You'll learn everything from what's so special about their fur, to their incredible feet.

  • Polar bears have webbed feet, so they are better swimmers.
  • Their large feet have small bumps, called papillae, to help them grip the ice.
  • A polar bear's nostrils close when they are swimming, so they don't accidentally breathe in water.
  • They have a layer of fat covering their body to stay in the cold areas. This also means they can overheat when it gets too warm.
  • Polar bears' fur is actually clear, to help them to blend in.
  • Their fur has a greasy coat, so they dry faster after swimming.
  • They also have two layers of fur to help them stay warm.
  • Surprise, a polar bear's skin is actually black. This could be so it gets more sun.
  • Large curved claws help them catch slippery seals and keep traction on the ice.
  • Their short tails and ears prevent them from losing heat.

Interesting Facts About Polar Bears You Didn't Know

At this point, you might think you know all there is to know about polar bears, but you would be wrong. Swim through a few little-known facts about polar bears.

Polar Bears Have 42 Teeth

Hunting and eating seals take a lot of work. So, polar bears have a lot of really sharp teeth, 42 in fact, to help them get the job done. They use their sharp teeth for hunting seals, and their molars are also sharp for chewing. Polar bears also have a gap between their front and back teeth to help them grab seals out of the water to the sheet ice.

Polar Bears Have a Keen Sense of Smell

Polar bears have a powerful sense of smell, which is essential for hunting. Seals, their main prey, cut breathing holes in the ice. The polar bears can smell the seals around the breathing hole, so they can wait to catch them. Additionally, they can smell seals on the ice twenty miles away!

Polar Bears Are Solitary Creatures

Polar bears don't typically live in packs or groups. They like to be alone. This is better for hunting. Polar bears don't have a way to communicate, except when a polar bear is looking for a mate, then they get stinky feet.

Polar Bears Are Fast Runners

polar bear running

With all that weight on them, you would think that polar bears would be pretty slow. But in fact, they are fast runners. Polar bears have been clocked at about 25 mph. They can only do this for short distances, but you probably wouldn't want to meet up with one!

Polar Bears Fast for Days

Seals aren't the easiest prey to catch. Therefore, it's common for a polar bear to have to fast for days in between meals. The fat stored in their bodies can be helpful for this. Polar bears will hunt and store fat during the winter to make sure they have enough body fat to get them through when prey is scarce.

Polar Bears Don't Hibernate

Another fun fact about polar bears is that they don't hibernate like regular bears. Mother bears will build a den for themselves and their littles, but polar bears generally don't go into hibernation. According to the Maryland Zoo, a mother polar bear uses her reserved fat to keep the babies warm and does not have a lower heart rate or metabolism. Mother polar bears are pretty amazing.

Foxes Follow Polar Bears Around

Polar bears are messy eaters. That means they leave a bit of food behind. The Arctic fox uses this as an opportunity to get a free meal. So, they will follow polar bears around to eat their leftovers. However, a polar bear will eat an Arctic fox if it's hungry.

Polar Bears Eat More Than Just Seals

polar bears eating a narwhal

Polar bears are carnivores, and their preferred meal is a seal. But seals aren't always available. Therefore, a polar bear can eat other things too. They have been known to eat geese, whales that wash up on the shore, small mammals, and even bird eggs. But they need the fat from a seal or walrus to store in their reserves.

Perfect Polar Bear Facts for Kids to Enjoy

Polar bears are exciting creatures. More than just cute characters to watch on the big or small screen, polar bears are unique animals that are slowly losing their habitat because the world is getting warmer. Many scientists think they might become extinct in the coming years. On a roll learning fun facts? Discover facts about rainbows, turkey facts for kids and reindeer facts too.

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40 Cool Polar Bear Facts for Kids