Over time, polar bears have adapted themselves to freezing cold climates as low at -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Polar bear’s utilize a thick fur and fat layer to insulate themselves and can at times overheat because their insulation techniques have evolved to be extremely efficient for such low temperatures.
Polar bears have two types of fur: long oily guard hairs and short insulating hairs. The oily long hair keeps the polar bear protected from the ice cold temperatures of the water by repelling the water. The oily long hairs pull in the heat for the short insulating hairs to snatch up and trap right next to the skin.
The polar bear’s fat layer, or “blubber,” covers the bear’s whole body and can range from 2-4 inches in thickness. This fat layer may also be used as a source of energy when food is scarce.
Another technique used by polar bears to keep warm is known as “winter sleep,” a state in which the polar bears metabolic process slows creating lower energy demands on the body so that the bear may be kept warm. This process differs from hibernation in that in winter sleep the bears can still be woken up.
Polar Bear Facts:
- The hair of a polar bears’ fur is hollow.
- Polar bears have been known to swim 100 miles in one stretch.
- Polar bears spend most of their life on sea ice.
- Polar bears are an endangered species as of 2008.
- Adult male polar bears can weigh up to 1,700 lbs.
- Baby polar bears are called cubs.
- At birth, cubs are about 12-14 inches long and weight about 1 pound.
- The scientific name for polar bear is “Ursus Maritimus” which translates to “sea bear.”
(These are by far the cutest bears to ever exist.)