How the Polar Bear Survives in the Cold
The polar bears are not only one of the world’s most beautiful animals, but they are also one of the most scientifically interesting. These bears live in the Arctic circle, surviving one of the most extreme climates in our world.
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Here’s the question: how the polar bear survives in the cold of the Arctic pole. Scientists have spent many years investigating how this animal manages to conserve heat. In this article of YourCatCareguide we will introduce you to the different theories that have arisen to answer this enigma.
The polar bear
The polar bear, also known as white bear , is a carnivorous mammal of the Ursidae family , more specifically, Ursus maritimus .
It is a bear with a more elongated body and more formed legs. The weight of the males ranges between 300 and 650 kilos, although we know cases that have reached a much greater weight.
Females weigh much less, about half. However, when they are pregnant they should try to store large amounts of fat, since it will be that fat that survives during the gestation and the first months of the baby’s life.
Although you can also walk, you do this awkwardly, as the polar bear feels better swimming. In fact, they can swim hundreds of miles.
As we said before, polar bears are carnivores . Of the few times that they rise to the surface, it is usually to hunt. Their most common prey are seals, belugas walruses or young specimens of walruses.
How it survives the cold
As you can imagine, one of the factors for the polar bear to survive in the cold is its fur . Although this explanation is too simple.
Beneath the skin of polar bears lies a thick layer of fat that protects them from the cold. Then, as in other mammals of this zone, its fur is divided into two layers: one lower and one outer. The outer layer is stronger to protect the thinner and denser inner layer. However, as we shall see later, the polar bears’ hair is considered a wonder as to the capture and retention of heat.
Another factor of its morphology that helps conserve heat are its compact ears and small tail . By having this structure and shape you can avoid unnecessary heat loss.
Theories about how the polar bear survives in the cold thanks to his fur
It has not been shown exactly how polar bears can overcome such extreme temperatures, although almost all theories are related to:
- Heat uptake
One study holds that the polar bear’s fur is hollow in addition to transparent . We see white hair when reflecting on this by the environment that surrounds it. It is curious, since, in contrast, his skin is black.
At first, the hair would catch the infrared rays of the sun, then would not know very well how, it transmitted them to the skin. The function of the hair would be to retain the heat. But there are more theories:
- One of them claims that the hair grabs the air bubbles in the room. These bubbles become a protective layer that would protect you from the cold.
- Another says that the skin of the polar bear emits electromagnetic waves that would warm the bear.
But of course, they are all theories. One thing scientists agree on is that polar bears have more problems with overheating than with freezing . Hence one of the great threats to this species is the warming of our planet by the contamination.
If you are a lover of bears and want to know more about other species of this wonderful mammal, do not miss our article that talks about feeding the panda bear .