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.

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Are polar bears white all year round?
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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.

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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.

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  • Q:

    What are Churchill polar bears?

    A:

    Churchill polar bears are polar bears that migrate through the city of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada. The polar bears remain around Churchill from October through November, waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze. The endangered bears serve as a huge tourist attraction for the city.

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  • 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.

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  • Q:

    Why are there no polar bears in Antarctica?

    A:

    There are no polar bears in Antarctica because polar bears live in the North Pole, or the Arctic. Some people have suggested moving polar bears to Antarctica because they are currently listed as "vulnerable" by the ICUN, and with rising temperatures in the North Pole, the polar bear is on its way to becoming endangered.

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