If you ask someone about the polar bears skin color, they will say for sure it’s white color. But this is not true, it’s their fur which makes them look white by reflecting visible light. Surprisingly the Polar Bear Skin Color is Black. Acquiring this black skin is one the arctic adaptations of a polar bear. We have gathered complete set of interesting and informative facts about the “Polar Bears Skin Color and Fur” which will help you understand clearly “What Color Skin Do Polar Bears Have” and why do they look white. You will also learn why do they turn into many more different colors.
What Color Skin Do Polar Bears Have
- The answer is black, under their fluffy fur the skin texture of the polar bear is black.
- Polar bear young ones have pink skin in their initial 150 days of life. It starts turning black as they grow old
- One can barely see their black skin as it’s under a thick fur, but only under the situation where polar bear sheds its hair because of some infection or disease.
- They are completely furred, but the only visible black skin in on the footpads and nose.
- Comparatively adult Brown bears as well as their cubs have pink skin.
- Acquiring this specific black color skin among all the other bear species is one of an adaption to the harsh snowy climate.
- Black color is best because it does not reflect any light rather it absorbs the whole energy that emits from light.
- The polar bear black skin let them absorb the maximum amount of solar radiation.
- Their clear and hollow fur also enables the sun rays to get to the black skin that keeps the polar bears warm in the cold climate.
- Polar bears survive even at times where temperature may fall below the freezing points, it’s because their black skin have gathered enough energy from the sun which keeps them warm.
- Black skin is not enough for coping up with such harsh climate of arctic region, they have a layer of fat 4 to 5 inches thick called blubber beneath their skin, which insulates them from frosty environment.
Why do Polar Bears appear to be White
One might think that if polar bears skin is black, and their fur has no pigment then why they look white, it’s because of the following reasons:
- The fluffy fur coat of polar bear is made up of two layers, inner layer consist of short hair and outer layer consist of long guard hair 5-15 cm long. These guard hairs are see-through and hollow and polar bear looks white because each of these hollow hairs reflects light, just like snow.
- When sun lights hits the polar bear transparent guard hairs which seems like a hollow tube, the light gets trapped and bounces around inside the guard hairs. when it hits the light scattering particles present inside the hollow hair the light splits into even more beams and gets sent into different directions causing the polar bear looks more whiter due to luminescence which is the emission of light.
- Sunlight has waves called ultraviolent light (UV), when it hits the polar bears crystal clear fur it goes directly to the base of the hollow hair where it reaches the black skin. When the UV light makes contact with bears dark black skin it produces even more whitish color due to florescence.
- Like humans polar bears also have protein in their hairs known as keratin. The keratin molecules help in emerging the off white color of polar bear.
- Polar bears looks super whitest right after their molt period (shedding hairs), which begins in spring and ends up by late summers.
Why Polar Bears Turn into Different Colors
They may appear into many more different colors under different lightening. As polar bears hairs are hollow, their diet and habitat can affect their color too. Some of the possible colors they may have are as follows:
- When the polar bear diet consist lots of seals, then they looks yellow because of the seals oil accumulated in their fur.
- When there is a cloudy day, the bear can look a bit gray.
- At sunset the bear seems reddish orange.
- In a warm habitat and in captivity the polar bears turn into a green color, that is because of the algae grows inside their hollow hairs. Algae is harmful for polar bears but they can get rid of it when they are washed with salt water.
Polar Bear Fur Properties
- Polar bears fur has the property of reflecting the visible light which helps them blend in the snowy environment, so their fur provides them camouflage.
- Polar bears have thick blubber then a black skin which is covered with two layers of hairs, so polar bear fur is an outstanding insulator which prevents them from heat loss.
- Polar bears are very good at absorbing heat. When the heat emits from their warm bodies all of it gets absorbed by their dense fur instead of transmitting through fluffy fur, where the heat would just lost to the snowy environment.
- The interesting fact of polar bear being invisible is basically the consequence of insulation property.
- Scientists discovered that their multiple layers of insulating fur hide almost all of the heat signatures. So under the infrared cameras the polar bears become invisible because the temperature coming off of the polar bear fur is exactly the same as the temperature of the snow except for their nose and breath.
Learn more: Polar Bear Facts
Polar Bear Skin Rug Price:
- The latest price of a 10 foot polar bear skin rug is $27,950.90.
- The question is why people would hunt such precious creatures and why would consumers want to buy their rugs?
- Hunting polar bears are the integral part of Inuit (group of people lives near arctic region). Inuit hunt them because it’s the only source of trade for them. Polar bears are important for them not only economically but also socially.
- People want to have polar bears rugs because of their large size, luxurious white fur and rarity. The well-off want to own this precious treasure as a status symbol or for fashion too.
- Till the middle of 20th century almost two-third of world’s polar bears population would have become disappear due to global warming and excessive hunting for their fur.