why do polar bears have thick white fur
Ursus maritimus вthat's the Latin name of the, the world's largest
who inhabits the far northern regions of Greenland, Siberia, and Canada. Its name means в," which is quite appropriate since bears spend most of their lives in, on or around water в mainly on the of the. bears are among the largest land on Earth. Male bears can weigh 700 to 1,400 pounds and stand 8 to 10 feet tall. While bears are excellent swimmers, they prefer to stay on top of the that covers the Arctic most of the year. Why do they spend so much time on the frigid Arctic? The Arctic waters and floes are where their favorite food в seals в can be found. bears will also occasionally eat other animals, including walruses and dead whales, but seals are by far their favorite food.
Seals can be tricky to catch, though, so bears must hunt with great and. Fortunately, their white coloring helps them blend in with their icy surroundings. So how did bears that live in a snowy-white world come to have white fur? Believe it or not, their hair isn't actually white! Their long outer hairs, which protect their soft, thick undercoat, are mostly and. The thinner hairs of their undercoat are also colorless. hair looks white because the air spaces in the hairs scatter light of all. When something reflects all of the visible wavelengths of light, we see the color white. Some scientists believe the was once a close relative to the brown.
They think that, over time, bears moved to the Arctic, where they adapted to their surroundings by developing fur that would help them blend in with the harsh, white Arctic. Not all bears look white, though. If you've ever seen a in a zoo, you may have noticed that its fur can appear almost green. Scientists discovered that from the pond waters in the bears' enclosures made the bears turn green. They learned these were found not on the surface of the hairs but inside the hairs! Polar bear paws are idealPfor roaming the Arctic. They measure up to 30 centimeters (11. 81 inches) across, to help polar bearsPtread on thin ice.
When the ice is very thin, thePbears extend their legs far apart and lower their bodies to distribute their weight. Polar bearPpaws arent designed to help just on land. When swimming, the bear'sPforepaws act like large paddles and its hind paws serve as rudders. Black footpads on the bottom of each paw are covered by small, soft bumps known as papillae. Papillae grip the ice and keep the bear from slipping. Tufts of fur between itsPtoes and footpads canPhelp with security as well. As can their claws. Thick, curved, sharp, and strongeach measures more than five centimeters (1. 97 inches) long. Polar bearsPuse their claws to catch and hold prey and to gainPtraction on ice.
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