Q:

How much does a polar bear weigh?

A:

As the largest land predators alive in the world as of 2014, most adult polars bears in the wild weigh between 900 and 1600 pounds and are from 7.25 to 8 feet long. Females are smaller than males, even in the later stages of gestation.

Despite their enormous size, polar bears are excellent swimmers, using their large front paws as paddles. Aided by a warming layer of fat and a thick layer of insulated fur, the Arctic bears are able to survive the planet's coldest environments. Black fur under their white coat also allows them to absorb the sun's rays better, while their white coat blends with the snow and ice to help them sneak up on prey.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the polar bear's ecological niche?

    A:

    The polar bear's ecological niche is that of a specialized predator of seals. Polar bears are the most carnivorous (meat eaters) of all the bear species, and their diet mainly consists of ringed seals and larger bearded seals.

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  • Q:

    What is the lifespan of a polar bear?

    A:

    The life expectancy of a polar bear living in its natural habitat is 15 to 18 years. A polar bear living in captivity can live to be 30 years old.

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  • Q:

    Are polar bears white all year round?

    A:

    The fur of a polar bear contains no pigment and is actually not white at all. Polar bear hairs have hollow cores and are transparent. The "white" appearance of a polar bear is due to effects of scattered, reflected light.

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  • Q:

    What is a polar bear's defense?

    A:

    Because polar bears are apex predators, they have no natural enemies, but when a polar bear male fights another male during mating season, it defends itself with its brute strength, curved claws, powerful jaws and long, sharp canine teeth. In rare encounters with other predators, such as grizzlies, a polar bear tends to back off in defense and leave the carcass to its opponent.

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