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Feathers, Fat and Fur: Fur
Feathers, fat and fur are body characteristics which help keep animals warm during cold weather. This is called animal insulation and is an important adaptation whether they migrate, hibernate or tolerate. Mammals have fur and birds have feathers. Which group of animals have fat? All of us.
Mammal species have fur and are endothermic (warm-blooded). This assists them in keeping warm during winter. Each species has a specific type and color of fur which grows in thicker in the colder months. See the horses in the picture below. Notice their thick fur. Mammals also eat more food in the winter which provides a fat layer for protection, too.
Other adaptations for survival may include folding their ears flat along the back of their head, burying their bodies in leaves and fluffing up their fur to provide a warm layer of air next to their skin. Have you ever seen a squirrel use its long fluffy tail as an umbrella on wet cold days? Look for them & other mammals while hiking on a cold day in the parks. Does their fur look fuller than in the summer? What do you do to stay warm on winter days?
Print the coloring page and draw in your own habitat and include animals that are hibernating or tolerating. In the example, you will notice there are birds in the sky and on the pond. There is a chipmunk, rabbit and fox hibernating or sleeping underground. The White-tailed deer is tolerating our cold winter by getting ready to nibble on the tree branches. Whoooo lives in the hole in the tree?
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