Fur is the word that is used to describe the thick hair that covers animals. It is found mostly on types of mammals. Most animals have a number of different layers of fur called ground hair, guard hair and awn hair. Fur is often used to make clothing for human beings and many mammals have been hunted close to extinction just for their fur. You may be wondering, what is the purpose of fur, and why do animals have it? Read on to find out.
The Reason for Fur
The main reason that animals have fur is to keep them warm. Mammals are warm-blooded. This means that these animals cannot use the surrounding environment to warm or cool themselves as cold-blooded animals do. The body has to continually use energy to maintain a constant body temperature. Fur helps mammals to do this.
Fur can also be used as a form of camouflage. Many animals’ fur coats are particular colors to help them blend in with their environment. This might be to help them hide from predators or to stalk prey. For example tigers have a stripped coat so they blend into the light and shadow of the trees in the jungles they inhabit.
Fur can also be useful for other reasons such as protection. Some animals such as the porcupine have stiff, bristle like hair that is used to protect themselves from predators. Some thick types of fur are water resistant helping animals, such as seals and penguins, to survive in the freezing cold arctic waters. It also helps them to move through the water easily.