Photo ©Marco Urso
The largest bear in the world!
The polar bear is the quintessential symbol of the Artic. Majestic, confident in its inhospitable habitat and feared by other animals but also by man, it is at the top of the food chain.
Polar bears live in one of the planet's coldest environments and depend on a thick coat of insulated fur, which covers a warming layer of fat. Fur even grows on the bottom of their paws, which protects against cold surfaces and provides a good grip on ice. The bear's stark white coat provides camouflage in surrounding snow and ice.
The polar bear represents our Nordic heritage. It’s the king of the North, roaring in Greenland (kingdom of Denmark), feared by all and thrives in the planet's coldest environments.
The polar bear have been part of our logo since 1991.
Nordisk logo from 1991
Nordisk logo from 2005
Nordisk logo from 2010
350–650 kg (males)
150-300 kg (females)
Arctic Ocean, sea ice, and adjacent coastal areas
HOME OF THE POLAR BEAR
Greenland, Norway, Canada, Alaska
Get to know the polar bear
- POLAR BEARS ARE CLASSIFIED AS MARINE MAMMALS
Because they spend most of their lives on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean depending on the ocean for their food and habitat, polar bears are the only bear species to be considered marine mammals.
- A POLAR BEAR SKIN IS ACTUALLY BLACK
Beneath all that thick fur, polar bears have jet black skin. The polar bear’s fur is also translucent, and only appears white because it reflects visible light.
- THEY CAN SWIM CONSTANTLY FOR DAYS AT A TIME
As well as reaching speeds of up to 6mph in the water, polar bears can swim for long distances and steadily for many hours to get from one piece of ice to another. Their large paws are specially adapted for swimming, which they’ll use to paddle through the water while holding their hind legs flat like a rudder.
- LESS THAN 2% OF POLAR BEAR HUNTS ARE SUCCESSFUL
Although about half of a polar bear’s life is spent hunting for food, their hunts are rarely successful. A polar bear’s main prey consists of ringed seals and bearded seals, which they hunt in a variety of ways. Either by breaking into pupping dens, waiting at breathing holes or at the water’s edge, or stalking seals that have hauled out to rest on the ice. Besides catching seals, polar bears will also scavenge carcasses or settle for small mammals, birds, eggs and vegetation.
- MALE POLAR BEARS CAN WEIGH AS MUCH AS 10 MEN
Male polar bears can weigh up to 800kg, and are twice the size of females. Polar bears can also grow up to 3 metres long, making them the largest bear species and the largest land carnivore in the world.
- THEY CAN SMELL THEIR PREY UP TO A KILOMETER AWAY
Polar bears have a very strong sense of smell, which they use to find seal breathing holes in the ice. Once it has found the hole, the bear will wait patiently until the seal comes up for air to attack. They can even detect a seal in the water beneath a metre of compacted snow.
- THE LATIN NAME MEANS ’SEA BEAR’
Polar bears are the planet’s biggest land-based carnivores – although they actually spend most of their lives around water and ice (their Latin name means ‘sea bear’).
- OUR DANISH ROOTS
The polar bear is the largest terrestrial predator in Greenland (Kingdom of Denmark). Their incredible size and behavior have given them a reputation for being dangerous, which is fully understandable. Polar bears are predators and, like other bears, you do not want to get too close to them. The polar bear is highly respected.
Most polar bears occur north of the Arctic Circle to the North Pole. Polar bears live in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Norway.
Wild life photographer Marco Urso
International Polar Bear Day
International Polar Bear Day on February 27 raises awareness on the issues facing polar bears. With their territory melting away beneath them, International Polar Bear Day is an important opportunity for us to remind ourselves what is at stake here, preserving the future of these magnificent mammals.
Polar Bear products