The polar bear is an interesting creature of the Poles that has intrigued man for ages! We can call them cousins of the bear that resides in the warmer latitudes. These animals are found in the Arctic region in harsh and extremely cold climates. Given the location of their residence, not all of us have seen Polar bears except for in pictures in our geography books or photos on the internet. Since we have not seen them with our own eyes it is tough for us to estimate their real size. So, how big is a polar bear compared to a human?
The polar bear is the largest of the bear species and the male is larger than the female. It is estimated that the male is between 2.4-3m (8-10 feet) in size and weighs between 350-680kg (775-1500lbs).
On the other hand, the size of the female is 1.8-2.4m (6-8 feet) and weighs between 150-250kg (330-550lbs).
Here are some more interesting facts about a poor bear that you will love to know! Keep reading for encountering more information about the white bears.
How Big is a Polar Bear?
There is a system of measuring to determine the length or the height of mammals by scientists. The measurement is taken from the tip of their nose to the end of their tailbone.
An average male polar bear is 2.4-3m (8-10 feet) in size whereas a female is smaller at 1.8-2.4m (6-8 feet). So we can say that when you are standing next to an adult male polar bear then you are standing next to a small pony!
There is an interesting fact about why the male polar bear is larger than the female polar bear; this is because the female attains maturity at five years of age while the male attains maturity at 6. Two different heights are measured for polar bears. When they are standing on all four of their legs they are about 1.3 – 1.6m (4’4” – 5’3”). Whereas when they are standing on two feet then their height is 3m (10 feet) tall.
How Big is a Baby Polar Bear?
Have you seen a baby polar bear in pictures and videos? Well, they are so adorable to look at! When the newborn is measured it is 30 centimeters or 12 inches in size.
The way the polar bears give birth to young ones is a very unique process! They construct a maternity den in which the pregnant mother enters for eight months during which time she does not eat or excrete. This can also be regarded as similar to the hibernation period. The time of birth is usually around January or December. After the baby is born it remains in the den with the mother for another 2 months after which the little one finally comes out.
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How Much Does Polar Bear Cub Weighs?
The cubs of the polar bears are the little polar bears that weigh around 454-680g. But surprisingly they stay inside the maternity den for a certain period until they start weighing around 10 kg and that is when they decide to come outside the den.
However, this factor is not constant since it is seen that polar bears weigh about three kilograms as well as 24 kilograms as they come out of the den! So the weight at which the young one will come outside greatly varies. When the mother polar bear gives birth to a single child then the weight of the baby is the most while when they give birth to twins their weight is divided and sometimes triplets are also born who sadly do not survive in most cases.
Size of Polar Bears Compared to Other Bears
There are several other bear species on this planet and each of them has a different size and weight! Let us have a look at a few common bears and compare their height and weight with that of polar bears. Here is the polar bear size comparison with other bears.
1) Size of Polar Bear versus Grizzly Bear
The Grizzly bear occupies the continent of South America and these brown bears are much smaller in size than polar bears. The adult male grizzly bear weighs 150-350kg. Whereas the weight of the adult male polar bear is 350-680kg (775-1500lbs).
2) Polar Bear versus Kodiak Bear
This is also a kind of brown bear. They are a subpopulation of grizzly bears that are found in parts of Alaska and Kodiak Island. The weight of these bears is around 357kg hence we can see that their weight is somewhat similar to the weight of the smaller-sized polar bears. They have a height that is shorter than that of a Polar bear but is certainly well built and even more agile.
3) Size of polar bears compared to black bears
A male American Polar bear weighs around 300 kg which is certainly less than the weight compared to a Polar bear which is around 350-680kg (775-1500lbs).
How Big is a Polar Bear Compared to a Human?
How Tall is a Polar Bear?
It is estimated that the height of the male polar bear is 1.5 times taller and 5 times heavier than the weight of an average human male.
The height of a polar bear from the nose to the tip of its tail is 2.4-3m (8-10 feet).
Whereas the height of a human male (in USA) is 1.75m (5’9”) on average. The weight of an individual is roughly around 90kg (199.8 lbs).
On the other hand when we are comparing the size of a female polar bear with humans then there will be a difference. Interestingly, the smallest female polar bear will be the size of an adult human male when they are lying down side by side.
How Much Does a Polar Bear Weigh?
A male polar Bear weighs 350-680kg (775-1500lbs) while a female polar bear weighs half as much as a male polar bear which means 150 to 295 kg (330 to 650 lbs).
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Polar Bear’s Paws Versus Human’s Hands
There is no scope for doubt that the size of the paw of the polar bear is more than that of the palm of humans. The width of the paw is 12 inches in diameter.
On the other hand, the diameter of the palm of humans is 4 inches which is three times less than that of polar bears.
The size of the paws of the polar bear is big and the paw-to-body ratio is also high which enables them to walk on the thick masses of ice and thin sheet of snow!
The size of the claws of the polar bears is also very big, they are ranging as much as 3.75-6 inches. This is useful for the animal as claws are beneficial for hunting.
1) How much strength does a Polar bear have?
Since they live in the Arctic region, the Polar bears do not have many land predators that can equate their size and strength! They are strong enough to fight with walrus, seals, and whales which are indeed part of their regular diet. Thus the polar bears dominate the prime position of the food chain in the Arctic regions.
2) What is the largest size polar bear ever seen?
The Guinness Book of Animal Records has stated that the largest Polar bear that was shot in Alaska weighed 998 kg (2,200-pound) at Kotzebue Sound, in 1960. This was the largest size of polar bear ever recorded.
The height of the polar bear was 3.39 m (11 ft) when it was completely erect on two feet.
3) How quick is a Polar bear?
You must be thinking since these are large mammals they are likely to be more sluggish and slow! But that is wrong since despite being so big they have a speed of up to 40 km/h (25 mph) over short distances.
But running at such a fast pace makes them feel hot as this requires a lot of energy. Hence if you see a polar bear on National Geographic Channel then you must note that they walk at a rate of 5.5 km/h (3.4 mph)
4) Can a human outrun a Polar bear?
This has a very clear answer, no! The polar bear will certainly win if it is competing with a human. The only way a person can win from a bear is if they start from a greater distance separation. Otherwise, if they are sprinting over a shorter distance then the polar bear will certainly win.
An average human runs at a speed of 10 miles per hour and hence they can’t compete with a bear! Some of us may run even slower or faster than that but not enough to compete with a bear.
An ordinary brown bear can run up to the speed of 30-35 miles per hour. In the case of polar bears, they run at a speed of 25 miles per hour. Thus if we compare the speed of running of a polar bear and that of humans then a polar bear runs such times faster than us.
Usain Bolt is the fastest runner in the world with a speed of 27.5 miles per hour! So unless you are him you don’t stand a chance against a polar bear.
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- How Big is a Polar Bear?
- How Big is a Baby Polar Bear?
- Size of Polar Bears Compared to Other Bears
- 1) Size of Polar Bear versus Grizzly Bear
- 2) Polar Bear versus Kodiak Bear
- 3) Size of polar bears compared to black bears
- How Big is a Polar Bear Compared to a Human?
- Polar Bear’s Paws Versus Human’s Hands
Naomi is an educator with 2 decades of experience working with children of all ages. She is a keen observer of the magic and importance of Maths in our daily lives. Follow me on Linkedin