Polar bears are the largest land carnivores and among the largest mammals on the planet. As a matter of fact, the only other carnivores who come close to their impressive size are Kodiak brown bears who just like polar bears, sit comfortably atop the food chain. This being said, polar bears are mostly marine mammals, as they spend most of their lives walking the cold Arctic sea ice.
As we are about to find out, they have evolved a series of unique characteristics to facilitate their survival in such a harsh environment, characteristics that not many other creatures possess. Here are, then, ten very interesting facts about polar bears.
10Polar bears are not white
Polar bears have outer hairs, known as guard hairs that are see-through. Each of these hairs has a hollow pocket of air inside which improves their resistance to extreme cold. When the sun’s light hits the bear’s outer coat, light bounces off the air pockets, which is what makes the bear appear white from a distance. The bears can also look yellow or brown, depending on the sun’s position and the time of year. For instance, sometimes algae will grow inside their guard hairs, making the bears look green-ish. Furthermore, their undercoat is colorless and their skin is black.