Polar bears are one of the most celebrated and special mammals that thrives within the Arctic Circle and have made an tremendous cultural impact within the animal kingdom. They are the world's largest large carnivores, with males weighing up to 1,500 lbs. They've evolved to adapt to extremely cold terrain, with up to four inches of adipose tissue insulating their bodies and two layers of fur—a dense under layer as well as a top layer of transparent guard hairs.
Their diet primarily consists of ringed and bearded seals, which they capture when seals go up for air or go onto the ice at night. Polar bears have also been known to occasionally prey on much larger animals such as walruses and beluga whales, despite the bears being less than half their size.
Polar bears are classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which are likely to become endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival are improved. Polar bears are risking endangerment because of habitat loss from climate change. Climate change causes the ice to melt at a faster rate, which means polar bears don't have enough time to build fat reserves and the insufficient nutrition ultimately causes lower reproductive rates.
Polar bears are frequently used in advertisements, having appeared in campaigns for Coca-Cola, Polar Seltzers and Klondike bars. They also appear on the Canadian toonie, which was introduced in 1996 and was designed by nature artist Brent Townsend. They're also frequently inked by tattooers. In honor of International Polar Bear Day, we've curated 25 of our favorite tattoos depicting the famous ice bears. Take a look at the tattoos in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on this story on social media.