How Do Polar Bears Adapt to Survive?
Polar bears have a variety of adaptations that allow them to survive in their Arctic homes. While many of their adaptations help them to hunt more effectively, other adaptations allow the bears to survive in the frigid temperatures. However, some of the most important adaptations polar bears have are those that help them to swim.
To cope with the cold temperatures of their habitat, polar bears are covered in long, dense fur. Additionally, the bears have an insulating layer of body fat under their skin. This layer of fat is often more than 4 inches thick, according to Sea World Parks & Entertainment. In fact, this insulation is so effective that polar bears must be careful not to overheat. Polar bears have many blood vessels that travel through their noses, ears and foot pads, which help to function as radiators when the bears are too warm. Polar bears also swim when they need to cool off.
Polar bears have very large front feet, which function as paddles when the bears are swimming. The back legs are held outstretched and function as oars. While swimming underwater, the bears are able to seal their nostrils to prevent seawater from pouring in.
Polar bears’ white fur provides camouflage with the snowy backdrop behind them. They may also dive underwater to approach their prey without being seen.