A-z - Animals

What's the Baby Polar Bear's Name and 4 More Amazing Facts!

Published: December 13, 2021

© Shvaygert Ekaterina/Shutterstock.com

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Polar bears are one of the most dangerous land carnivores around! Know that they are helpless as babies, or maybe they are not the color they see in their eyes? There are so many cool things to know about baby polar bears, so let's get started with these five facts and cute baby polar bear pictures!

#1: Baby polar bears are called cubs!

baby polar bear playing
Polar bear babies are called cubs, a name shared with other types of bears.

©Shvaygert Ekaterina/Shutterstock.com

Just like other species of bears, polar bear babies are called cubs. By the time the cub is six months old, it is ready to venture out on its own, away from its mother. At this point, it will be called a subadult. Polar bears are sub-adults until they can mate.

#2: Newborn polar bears are completely dependent on their mother

Polar Bear Baby - Polar Bear and Mommy
Polar bear cubs are completely dependent on their mothers for survival.

© Lamberrto/Shutterstock.com

When a polar bear is born, it's only about a pound and has hair so fine it doesn't exist. The babies were also born without open eyes or teeth. Because polar bear cubs are so fragile, they spend most of the first 6 months of their lives in dens built by their mothers.

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During this time, the cubs learn from their mother everything they need to survive. As babies, they must be closely guarded from predators due to their large size and inability to defend themselves. However, polar bears won't always be prey. Polar bears can weigh over 1,500 pounds when they're fully grown, and with their teeth, nails, and sheer size alone, they're some pretty deadly animals.

#3: Polar bears are black, not white

Polar Bear Baby - Cub with Parents
Polar bears have black skin beneath their translucent fur, which only appears white when it reflects off the snow.

©isabel kendzior/Shutterstock.com

Due to the harsh climate they live in, polar bears have more than one coat of fluffy fur to protect them. Their first layer is a short, dense layer that protects them from the cold and cushions their skin against the cold. Also, there is a longer layer, which appears to be white.

However, polar bear colors are not what they seem. The longer fur of polar bears is translucent, reflecting only the color of their surroundings. In reality, polar bears have black skin under their warm fur.

#4: Polar bear cubs are found in only one place in the world

polar bear cubs - cubs
Polar bear cubs are only raised in arctic captivity.

©Anne Kiel/Shutterstock.com

Polar bear cubs are born in the North Pole, and for good reason. Their fur populations need extremely cold places to survive, otherwise, their fur would be too hot. Polar bears cannot live in warmer climates. If they move to a warmer climate, they will die within a day.

People often confuse polar bears with living in Antarctica, but that's not true. But, climate-wise, if polar bears had to live there, they could certainly survive.

#5: Polar bear twins are not uncommon

What is the name of the little polar bear - siblings
Polar bears usually have one or two siblings.


Most commonly, polar bear cubs are born in pairs; it is not unusual for them to be born alone. However, it is extremely rare for a polar bear mother to give birth to three or four cubs at a time. The smaller the litter size, the better the polar bear cub's chances of survival.

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playful baby polar bear

© Shvaygert Ekaterina/Shutterstock.com

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the baby polar bear's name?

Young polar bears are called cubs. These furry animals share their names with many other types of bears, aardvarks and cheetahs.

How much does a polar bear baby weigh?

Newborn polar bear cubs weigh only about a pound and stand about a foot tall. The harsh environment in which polar bears live means they need a lot to counteract some of the cold they will face. To help cope with extreme weather, polar bears gain weight, at least a pound a day for the first 2 or 3 months of life. During this time, they will also learn survival skills.

What do polar bear cubs eat?

Polar bears are mammals. So their young nurses get the nutrients and vitamins they need to survive from their mothers. Polar bear cubs are born in snowy "delivery wards" where they live until they grow up and learn enough to survive their sea travels. Once out at sea and roaming around the sea ice, polar bears start preying on seals, which are the polar bear's main source of food.

Where do polar bear cubs live?

Polar bears live in the Arctic and are born in winter. Before they are born, their mothers will dig a large hole in the snowdrift to create what is known as a delivery room. Polar bear cubs will remain in the den until spring. They are also there to learn all the basic skills. After spring, when mom thinks they're strong enough, the babies venture out and start their sea-ice journey.

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