Posted in CSR

Retaining and losing heat

  • In bears, the basal metabolic rate varies with climate and season
    • Polar Bear has the highest
  • Overheat easily when running; can’t travel any great distance at speeds more than a walk.
    • Low surface-area to volume ratio favors heat retention.
    • Tendency to overheat enhanced by thick layer of fat
    • Thin adults and young cubs up to 6 months old, with little body fat, are susceptible to cold.
  • Use more than twice the predicted energy for moving at a given speed, perhaps due to bulky body.
  • Fat and fur both insulate.
  • As long as bear isn’t exposed to wind, body temperature and metabolic rate remain normal at -37 degrees C (-35 degrees F).
  • Body temperature drops to 31-35 degrees C (88-95 degrees) when in winter dens; this temperature is only slightly below normal body temperature. (Harrington 1968)

Source: San Diego Zoo wildlife Alliance Library

Manager’s Office Team

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