Q:

Are polar bears white all year round?

A:

Quick Answer

The fur of a polar bear contains no pigment and is actually not white at all. Polar bear hairs have hollow cores and are transparent. The "white" appearance of a polar bear is due to effects of scattered, reflected light.

  Know More
Are polar bears white all year round?
Credit: Vadim Balakin Moment Getty Images

Full Answer

Over the year, a polar bear's fur can darken due to the presence of dirt and old fur. When a polar bear emerges from a molt period in late summer, the animal is the whitest it can be until the next molting. Strong sunlight amplifies the effects of the polar bear's fur in a fashion similar to snow. In captivity, polar bear fur can become green due to the presence of algae colonies.

Learn more about Polar Bears

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do polar bears keep warm?

    A:

    Polar bears possess a number of adaptations for the cold that keep them warm, including thick fur, thick fat and increased body size compared to other bear species. Due to these adaptations, polar bears are more likely to overheat than to experience hypothermia.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do polar bears sleep?

    A:

    Polar bears sleep on the open ground, dig pits in gravel and sand at shorelines, or dig shallow areas in the snow or beneath protected ridges. Once inside these protective depressions, they turn their backs to the wind.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do polar bears have large paws?

    A:

    Polar bears large paws are an adaptation feature, which allows polar bears to spread their weight on snow and ice more effectively. The paws act like snowshoes for balancing the significant weight polar bears have. Fur on the bottom of their paws also helps polar bears to grip the ice.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are polar bears endangered?

    A:

    Polar bears are endangered because of global warming, which negatively affects their natural habitat. Other threats to the polar bear population are pollution, poaching and unregulated hunting.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore