While Polar Bears look white, interestingly enough, their fur has no white pigment and their skin is actually black. The hairs on polar bears are hollow, however, their thickness allows polar bears to appear white and blend in with their Arctic surroundings. Their coat provides such great camouflage, that they sometimes are mistaken for a snow drift.
Full Grown Polar Bears
Adult Polar Bears
Once a cub has grown out a thick fur coat, they are able to survive the Arctic temperatures without mama’s warmth. Adult polar bears have thick, dense fur to protect them from harsh weather. They also have black skin which allows them to soak up any warmth from the sun. Their seemingly white fur also helps polar bears blend in when they are hunting their prey. SNEAKY!
Polar Bears Babies
Young cubs have thin fur and rely heavily on mama to keep warm. As newborns, they appear hairless because their fur is so fine.
Recently researchers discovered that wolves have learned how to hunt polar bear cubs, but once their “white” coat comes in, cubs will be able to better camouflage from their predators.
What keeps a polar bear warm?
- Black Skin
- Heavy Layer of Body Fat (Blubber)
- Thick Fur Coat
Polar Bear Fur in Water
Polar bear fur is oily and water resistant. This means that the oils on their fur makes it harder for the hairs to soak up the cold sea water. Interestingly, their hairs do not tangle when wet, making it easier for them to dry off.
How do polar bears dry off?
Polar bears use snow like a towel. Before using the snow to dry off, they will shake off excess water like a dog typically does. After that, they will roll around in the snow. Very adorable sit to see!
Check out this video to see for yourself!