Taxonomy of the Polar Bear

Taxonomy is the science of classifying and naming organisms. There are 7 taxon levels: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. Kingdom is the broadest taxon level and species is the most specific.

Kingdom Animalia: All the members of this kingdom are unicellular and eukaryotic. They are also all heterotrophic, which means they cannot make their own food; they depend on other organisms as their energy source. There are about 800,000 identified species in this kingdom.

Phylum Chordata: This phylum contains animals that have or a spinal cord and vertebrae at some point in their life. This phylum is then divided into three even more specific phylums.

Class Mammalia: This class is distinguished by their ability to perform natural birth and produce milk for their young.

Order Carnivora: All the animals found in this order are carnivores, meaning meat is their only source of food. Polar bears will often feed on seals or the remains of dead walruses and wales.

Family Ursidae: Species in this family include all the bears; black bears, polar bears, etc. These species are spread throughout the world, with the polar bear being located in arctic conditions.

Genus Ursus: Ursus meaning "bear" includes the polar bear, black bear and brown bear.

Species Maritimus: Maritimus translates to "sea" in Latin. The polar bear is mainly located in the Arctic Circle. The species has adapted over the years to live well in the cold climates.

Polar Bears Can be Found Here: