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This Arctic predator moves easily from water to land and back.


Posted March 19, 2014. Photo courtesy of Celina Chavez-Fennell.

Kiska and Koluk, the polar bear brothers at the ABQ BioPark, are up for a swim no matter how cold it is outside.  A thick, two-layered fur coat keeps them warm.  The first layer of hair looks white, but each hair is actually a colorless, hollow shaft.

The hollow hairs bolster the bear’s blubber to provide powerful insulation. While Albuquerque-resident bears don’t build up much fat, polar bears in the harsh arctic environment can have a layer of blubber up to 4.5 inches thick.

Discover more about the fascinating adaptations of polar bears, as well as whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and sea otters during Marine Mammal Appreciation Week at the ABQ BioPark Zoo and Aquarium, March 23-28. (And if you love Italian fare, join us to eat Pizza for Polar Bears at a fundraiser on Sunday!)

What’s your favorite marine mammal? Tell us on Facebook.

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