why do polar bear have thick fur

Asked by: Audrey Simms, Cirencester
They are incredibly well insulated with a layer of blubber that can be up to 10cm thick covered with another 15cm of fur. Polar bears lose so little heat to their environment that they are almost invisible to thermal imaging cameras. But a recent study at the University of Buffalo found that polar bears have also evolved genes that produce more nitric oxide than other bear species.

Nitric oxide is a signalling molecule and one of the mechanisms it controls is whether cells use their available nutrients to produce metabolic energy, or simply convert it into body heat. Polar bears seem to be able to divert more of their bodys resources into generating heat.

This relies on them getting enough fuel for this process and adult polar bears have a high calorie diet; they mostly eat seal blubber. In the High Arctic, the sun sets in October and doesn't rise again until late February. Winter temperatures can plunge to -40` or and stay that way for days or weeks. The average January and February temperature is.

Bears are insulated with two layers of fur and a thick layer of body fat. This provides enough insulation that their body temperature and metabolic rate doesnt change, even when temperatures reach. To learn more about how polar bears bodies adjust to their climate, seeP. A polar bear's body temperature, 37 C (98. 6 F), is average for mammals.

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