Why Do Polar Bears have Large Feet?

Polar bears have pretty large feet—they are quite heavy too. Polar bear’s 12-inch wide feet are all covered with dense hairs that are not only meant to keep the bear warm it also provides perfect grip on the ice. The reason as to why polar bears have large feet is that their feet must be large enough to lift the 800-pound-animal. The larger feet also spread the entire weight of a polar bear over deep snow and thin ice to prevent it from falling into the water.

The large polar bear feet however does not prevent the bear from sprinting in that the bear can achieve the speed of 30 miles per hour in short bursts. Usain Bolt, the fastest human runner, can run at a speed of 27.49 miles per hour so there’s no chance that you can ever outrun a polar bear. While polar bear’s feet appear to be quite different from ours they walk in pretty much the same way as we humans do. This is quite rare in land predators. Let’s find out why do polar bears have such big feet.

Why Does a Polar Bear have very Wide Large Paws?

The polar bear paws are designed to assist it not only to carry the massive weight—it also provides an additional grip so that the bear doesn’t slip on the ice. Polar bears can also stand on their paws which they usually do whilst searching for the prey. Their paws also help them to climb up the hill but they are probably not so perfectly designed for climbing as the black bear’s paws.

why does a polar bear have very wide large paws
Polar bear paw. Why do polar bears have large feet? Photo by animalgalleries.org

Polar bears typically sprint on their paws but they also use it in walking. Unlike most other land carnivores, the polar bears are great travelers—covering as much as 70 to 80 miles on foot. They are thought to cover that much distance in a single day. Thanks to their wide paws and large feet without which they might not be able to walk comfortably on the sea ice.

Why Do Polar Bears have Large Feet? – Video