Females usually breed for the first time when they are 4 years of age (Stirling 1990, p 89). When the ice is very thin, the bears extend their legs far apart and lower their bodies to distribute their weight. Larger males have a greater chance of winning these battles and of mating. Stay up to date with what’s happening at the North American Bear Center! They measure up to 30 centimeters (11.81 inches) across, to help polar bears tread on thin ice. Male cubs are usually larger than the female cubs. They also hunt beluga whales and walruses (Lynch 1993, p 122). Mother bears spend 35% of their time hunting (Stirling 1990, p 120 and 125). The pads of the polar bear are covered with small papillae, which increase friction between the foot and the ice. Canada considers polar bears a species of special concern under the National Species at Risk Act. Mating takes place on sea ice between April and May. Females generally breed once every 3 years (Stirling 1990, p 81). Resources used: We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit that relies entirely on the support of visitors, merchandise sales and people like you. Mating is interspersed with periods of intense interaction and hunting for seals (Stirling 1990, p 82). Females usually weigh from 330 to 720 lbs (Lynch 1993, p 58), while a super-fat pregnant females may reach as much as 1,100 lbs (Stirling and Guravich 1990, p 23). Polar bears can consume up to 150 lbs. Cubs learn from their mother by watching and copying her movements and behavior. Smell: Polar bears have an excellent sense of smell and can locate seals up to 40 miles away (Brown 1993, p 82). 1st edition. Polar bears are usually found in the northern marine areas of Alaska, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Norway’s Svalbard Archepelago, Greenland and Canada (Lynch 1993, p 5). Triplets do occur but in most cases one of the cubs does not survive (Stirling 1990, p 88). If they kill a newborn pup, they most likely will not eat it (Lynch 1993, p 66). (Stirling and Guravich 1990, p 24). The den is usually about 6 ½ feet by 5 feet in size, and approximately 3 feet in height (Stirling 1990, p 87). As a result of this, they can go weeks without eating. During the first 2 months, cubs have an unsteady walk. Polar Bears. When a bear dives underwater the ear canals close (Brown 1993, p 81). A polar bear has to solve two physiological problems; maintaining their body temperature in a cold climate, and being able to store enough energy to last between meals that could be days or even months apart (Stirling 1990, p 143). Polar Bear Facts. A polar bear learns the seasonal pattern of movements as a cub during the 2 years it remains with its mother (Stirling and Guravich 1990, p 68). As the ice retreats north during the summer months, polar bears travel with the ice floes and continue to hunt seals (Stirling and Guravich 1990, p 61). The Great Bear Almanac. They watch everything she does and will also sniff the same places their mother has sniffed. 1993. We do not receive any state or federal funding. They're loners ... Other than the two to three years a cub spends with its mother, polar bears are … PO Box 161 Once a male locates a female, they may be seen together for a week or more. During a ‘stalk’, the polar bear picks up the scent of the seal and tactfully moves closer to the seal. An exception to this is threat walruses pose to polar bears.