Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Carnivora > Ursidae > Ursus > Ursus maritimus

Ursus maritimus (Polar Bear)

Synonyms: Ursus maritimus marinus; Ursus maritimus maritimus
Language: French

Wikipedia Abstract

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a carnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–700 kg (772–1,543 lb), while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Although it is the sister species of the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting seals, which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time on the sea ice. Their scientific name means
View Wikipedia Record: Ursus maritimus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 12.22
EDGE Score: 3.97


Adult Weight [2]  854.30 lbs (387.50 kg)
Birth Weight [3]  1.47 lbs (665 g)
Female Weight [2]  496.04 lbs (225.00 kg)
Male Weight [2]  1,212.55 lbs (550.00 kg)
Weight Dimorphism [2]  144.4 %
Female Maturity [3]  4 years 9 months
Male Maturity [3]  4 years 9 months
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Vertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Endothermic [4]  90 %
Diet - Fish [4]  10 %
Forages - Ground [4]  100 %
Gestation [3]  7 months 20 days
Hibernates [1]  Yes
Litter Size [3]  2
Litters / Year [3]  0
Maximum Longevity [3]  44 years
Water Biome [1]  Coastal
Weaning [3]  10 months 3 days

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Ib 12402936 Alaska, United States
Aulavik National Park II 3021211 Northwest Territories, Canada
Auyuittuq National Park II 4808115 Nunavut, Canada
Great Arctic State Nature Preserve 10302372 Taimyr, Russia
Gros Morne National Park II 476632 Newfoundland, Canada
Gydansky State Nature Reserve 2170015 Yamalo-Nenets, Russia
Ivvavik National Park II 2382752 Yukon, Canada
Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve 174283 Murmansk, Karelia, Russia
Kronotskiy Biosphere Reserve 361480 Russia  
Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve 2822275 Kamchatka Krai , Russia
Nenetsk State Nature Reserve 774428 Nenets, Russia
North-east Svalbard Nature Reserve Ia 10410117 Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands  
Ostrov Vrangelya (Wrangel Island) Zapovednik Nature Monument III 180 Russia    
Polar Bear Provincial Park 5502026 Ontario, Canada
Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary Migratory Bird Sanctuary IV 15335601 Nunavut, Canada
Quttinirpaaq (Ellesmere Island) National Park Reserve II 9436606 Nunavut, Canada
Sirmilik National Park II 5475284 Canada
Taimyrsky Biosphere Reserve Ia 4403240 Taimyr, Russia
Tuktut Nogait National Park II 5761538 Northwest Territories, Canada
Ukkusiksalik National Park II   Nunavut, Canada
Ust-Lensky State Nature Reserve 3541020 Sakha, Russia
Vuntut National Park II 1076795 Yukon, Canada
Wapusk National Park II 2614324 Manitoba, Canada
Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve 5499701 Chukotka, Russia    

Emblem of


Prey / Diet

Alle alle (Little Auk)[5]
Anser albifrons (Greater White-fronted Goose)[5]
Betula glandulosa (resin birch)[5]
Branta canadensis (Canada Goose)[5]
Chen caerulescens (Snow Goose)[5]
Clangula hyemalis (Oldsquaw)[5]
Delphinapterus leucas (Beluga)[6]
Erignathus barbatus (Bearded Seal)[6]
Fratercula arctica (Atlantic Puffin)[5]
Larus argentatus (Herring Gull)[5]
Leymus arenarius (sand ryegrass)[5]
Microtus pennsylvanicus (meadow vole)[5]
Monodon monoceros (Narwhal)[6]
Myoxocephalus quadricornis (Alaska fourhorn sculpin)[5]
Mytilus edulis (Blue mussel)[5]
Odobenus rosmarus (Walrus)[6]
Odobenus rosmarus divergens (Pacific walrus)[7]
Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat)[5]
Pagophilus groenlandicus (Harp Seal)[6]
Phoca largha (Spotted Seal)[5]
Phoca vitulina (Harbor Seal)[5]
Pusa hispida (Ringed Seal)[6]
Salvelinus alpinus (Arctic charr)[5]
Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (Green sea urchin)[5]
Ursus maritimus (Polar Bear)[5]
Vulpes lagopus (Arctic Fox)[8]
Zostera marina (Eel Grass)[5]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Odobenus rosmarus (Walrus)2
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)4
Somniosus microcephalus (gray shark)2
Vulpes lagopus (Arctic Fox)1


Homo sapiens (man)[5]
Somniosus microcephalus (gray shark)[5]
Ursus maritimus (Polar Bear)[5]


Parasitized by 
Ancylostoma caninum[9]
Taenia ursimaritimi <Unverified Name>[9]
Trichinella nativa <Unverified Name>[9]
Trichinella spiralis (pork worm)[9]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Aalborg Zoo
Albuquerque Biological Park
Almaty State Zoo of Kazakhstan
Aquarium du Quebec
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservat'n Society
Budapest Zool.& Botanical Garden
Buffalo Zoological Gardens
Central Park Zoo
Chicago Zoological Park
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Copenhagen Zoo
Denver Zoological Gardens
Detroit Zoological Society
Dierenrijk Europa
Erie Zoological Gardens
Guadalajara Zoo
Henry Vilas Zoo
Highland Wildlife Park
Indianapolis Zoo
Jardin Zoologico de Cdad.Buenos Aires
Johannesburg Zoological Gardens
Kaliningrad Zoo
Kansas City Zoo
Kazan Zoological & Botanical Garden
Kharkiv Zoo
Lake Superior Zoological Gardens
Leningrad Zoo - St. Petersburg
Lietuvos Zoologijos Sodas
Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Münchener Tierpark Hellabrunn
Memphis Zoological Garden & Aquarium
Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens
Monde Sauvage Safari SPRL
Moscow Zoological Park
Mulhouse Zoo
Municipal Independent Org. Roev Ruchei
Nagoya Higashiyama Zoo
North Carolina Zoological Park
Novosibirsk Zoological Park
Nyíregyházi Állatpark Nonprofit KFT
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Oregon Zoo
Orsa Grönklitt Bjornpark(Orsa Bear Pk)
Osaka Municipal Tennoji Zool. Gdns.
Ouwehand Zoo
Parc Zoologique d'Amneville
Parc Zoologique de La Palmyre
Permskii Zoologicheskii Sad
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Ranua Wildlife Park
Reid Park Zoo
Riga Zoo
Rostock Zoologischer Garten
Rotterdam Zoo
Safari de Peaugres
San Diego Zoo
San Francisco Zoological Gardens
Scandinavian Wildlife Park
Schoenbrunner Tiergarten GmbH
Seneca Park Zoo
Singapore Zoological Gardens
Societa Zoologica Di Pistoia S.R.L
St. Paul's Como Zoo
Tallinn Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo
Tiergarten der Stadt Nürnberg
Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde GmbH
Toledo Zoological Gardens
Toronto Zoo
Ueno Zoological Gardens
Wilhelma Zoo
Yokohama Zool. Gardens
Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven GmbH
Zoo de La Fleche
Zoo Hannover GmbH
Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien
Zool.Nacional Parque Metro De Santiago
Zoological Garden Prague
Zoologicka Zahrada Mesta Brna
Zoologischer Garten Wuppertal

Range Map

Europe & Northern Asia (excluding China); North America;



Alaska Zoo Polar Bear Camera
Cam Time:
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San Diego Zoo's Polar Bear Cam
Cam Time:
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Toledo Zoo Polar Bear Cam
Cam Time:
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Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Ursus maritimus, Douglas P. DeMaster and Ian Stirling, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 145, pp. –7 (1981)
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
6Diet composition of polar bears in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea, Andrew E. Derocher, Øystein Wiig, Magnus Andersen, Polar Biol (2002) 25: 448–452
7Alaska Wildlife Notebook Series, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
8Alopex lagopus, Alexandra M. Audet, C. Brian Robbins, and Serge Larivière, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 713, pp. 1–10 (2002)
9Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Specially protected natural territories of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access