White Polar Bears
Why are polar bears white?
Polar bear fur is actually a transparent, slightly yellow
follicle. It acts as a fiber optical medium to direct the sunlight
directly to its black skin for absorption. Due to the spacing and
arrangement of the follicles, there is some scattering of light, just
as in clouds, causing it to look white.
There is a common misconception that it is white for protective
coloration. The only predator of polar bears is man, and that is
only relatively recent in the history of the planet.
---Nathan A. Unterman
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Update: June 2012