Why don't animals wear clothes like humans do

Survival strategies in the cold

Heat insulation through air cushions

If it is colder outside than the body can handle, as much heat as possible must be preserved. The strategy of "thermal insulation by means of an air layer" has proven to be particularly effective, as we know it from the thermos flask, for example.

Air is a poor conductor of heat and is ideal for providing a barrier against cold outside temperatures. Animals can insulate the air around their body with their feather or hair coat and build up a natural thermal insulation layer around them.

Defy the cold with hollow hair

Animals in the polar regions have, in addition to a thick layer of fat under their skin, an extremely dense coat. Compared to the animals of the middle latitudes there are three to four times as many hairs per square centimeter in the fur of polar animals.

There is an additional specialty in the fur of the reindeer or the polar bear: the hair is hollow on the inside. As a result, the insulating layer of air is held even better on the body.

Scientists assume that the hair of the polar bear fur, which is actually completely colorless and only appears white because of the refraction of light, additionally traps the heat rays in its cavity. Then they pass the heat on to the skin, which is black in polar bears. Because of its dark color, the polar bear skin can absorb the heat well.

Unbeatable Inuit clothing made from animal skins

People need clothing to retain body heat. For the Inuit, the indigenous people of the Arctic, the right clothing is essential to survive in the extreme cold. During the hunting season they are often out and about in the freezing cold for several days.

Animal fur clothing is an indispensable part of your everyday wardrobe. A warm and heavy bearskin is suitable for long stays in the cold when the hunter shouldn't move while lurking for prey.

Seal skin, on the other hand, is extremely waterproof. This means that the Inuit can even survive for a short time in ice-cold water. Reindeer fur is warm and light. It has therefore proven itself for centuries on extensive hikes.

Of course, the Inuit nowadays also dress in modern textiles. But clothing made of high-tech synthetic fibers, with their thin, light and cold-resistant fabrics, still does not come close to the excellent properties of traditional Inuit clothing.