Choose the correct option which answers the following question:
Which features adapt polar bears to living in an extremely cold climate?
(i) A white fur, fat below the skin, keen sense of smell.
(ii) thin skin, large eyes, and white fur.
(iii) a long tail, strong claws, and large white paws.
(iv) White body, paws for swimming, gills for respiration.

Correct answer: Option (i) A white fur, fat below the skin, and a keen sense of smell.

The adaptations of polar bears are:

1. A white appearance: The coat is the same color throughout the year, unlike some polar species that have a darker coat in the summer. The coat has a tinge of pale yellow that grows more obvious as the animal ages and gives it the appearance of being pristine white. Obviously, the color provides camouflage against a frozen and snowy landscape.

2. Large feet: aid with weight distribution and improve traction on the ice.

3. Thick layers of fat and fur: Acts as an insulator against the cold. The polar bear has the densest and most lustrous fur of any bear species. There are two types of hair: short, dense, soft inner hairs and longer, stiffer guard hairs. An oily covering that wicks away water after swimming reduces heat loss.

4. Polar bears have evolved to a high-fat diet: It allows them to eat the seals' energy-dense blubber. So much fat would kill other animals. Younger bears eat meat as well as blubber. Eating fat instead of protein allows the bear to avoid excreting excess nitrogen as urea in the urine. Excreting urea requires water; while the bear could swallow snow to replenish this, it would take a lot of energy to warm it back up. Ingesting fat simply avoids the issue.

5. Thick fur on the paws: Thick fur on the paws provides insulation against snow and ice as well as traction on slippery ground. The bear's paws are large to aid with weight distribution on ice and snow, and they have blubber under the pads for further insulation.

6. Small extremities and round ears: Do not allow cold water to enter your ears if you have little limbs or round ears. Polar bears have small, thick-furred ears, a very short tail, and a very short, squat nose, all of which assist them in maintaining heat.

7. Keen sense of smell: A keen sense of smell enables them to locate prey even beneath a thick layer of ice.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 09-Jan-2023


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