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What Color is His Tongue?

14 Fascinating Facts About Polar Bears

Read on to learn more about these magnificent creatures and add your name to protect their Arctic home from destructive drilling.

And don't forget to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter about these kings of the Arctic!

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  1. Although polar bears look white, their fur is actually colorless, their skin is black, and their tongues are a dark blue-purple color.
    Blue Tongue
    Photo by ucumari via Flickr
  2. Polar bears are more likely to be too hot than too cold! This bear is using the snow to cool off.
    Snow Romp
    Photo by Metassus via Flickr
  3. In fact, polar bears are so well-insulated that they are all but invisible to infrared cameras. So little heat escapes from their blubber and fur that the only parts that show up are their noses and eyes.
    Infrared
    Image by Arno Vlooswijk & Coen Boonen via Wikimedia Commons
  4. Polar bears can run up to 25 miles per hour and jump up to 6 feet in the air.
    Dive
    Photo by LUZ-2011 via Flickr
  5. Polar bears are extremely strong swimmers – they can swim for up to a week and have been spotted paddling along as far as 200 miles from land.
    Swimming
    Photo by ucumari via Flickr
  6. Polar bears are the largest land carnivores on Earth. Take that, lions!
    Arctic Giants
    Photo by Ansgar Walk via Wikimedia Commons
  7. Polar bear cubs weigh just one pound and measure just 12 inches long at birth but they grow quickly on a diet of their mother's rich milk.
    Cub
    Photo by tableatny via Flickr
  8. The thick, black soles of polar bears' furry feet are covered with small, soft bumps known as papillae that help them grab the ice and keep from slipping. The tufts of fur between their toes may help give them better traction, along with their claws.
    Feet
    Photo by ucumari via Flickr
  9. Polar bears have incredibly powerful noses – they can smell a seal (their favorite food) up to half a mile away, even under the ice.
    Family
    Photo by jidanchaomian via Flickr
  10. Most polar bears sleep for 7-8 hour stretches, just like humans. The only exception is the deep sleep (it's not true hibernation) that pregnant females enter in their maternity dens during winter. All other polar bears are out and about during the winter months.
    Nap
    Photo by beingmyself via Flickr
  11. Polar bears are intrepid travelers. Scientists used a satellite to track one female bear on her 3,000-mile journey from Alaska to Greenland to Canada and back – and she walked the whole way!
    Travelers
    Photo by Stefan Cook via Flickr
  12. Only female polar bears can be tracked using GPS collars. Male polar bears have wider necks than heads and the collars simply fall off.
    Tracker
    Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern University
  13. A mother polar bear must gain roughly 440 lbs to sustain herself and her cubs through her pregnancy. Luckily, a polar bear can eat up to 100 lbs of seal blubber in one sitting!
    Nesting
    Photo by Travel Manitoba via Flickr
  14. Male polar bears are TWICE as big as females. Adult males can weigh up to 1,400 pounds while females weigh up to 650 pounds. But this size disparity does not stop a mother from defending her cubs whenever a male crosses their path.
    Couple
    Image copyright Jason Roberts, BBC

Don't leave these magnificent creatures stranded. Help polar bears out of a tight spot by urging Interior Secretary Jewell to ban oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean for good!

Couple
Photo by Agrant141 via Wikimedia Commons

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