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Who isn't Afraid of Cold?

Annually on the 19th of January, the Theophany Day, many people plunge into ice-cold water and think about "winter swimming". Physicians can't give a unambiguous answer as to the benefits or harm of such practice. Nevertheless, not only people but also animals can be experts in winter survival. There are water mammals and water foul that can't be compared with limited sustenance of people to cold.

Water that surrounds Antarctics is not just cold. It is really icy as the major part of it is covered with thick layer of ice, icebergs and glaciers. The air temperature there is often lower than -60 degrees Centigrade, water temperature is -1,8 degrees Centigrade. However, in these dire ceircumstances fauna is quite rich. Whales, seals, penguins inhabit these areas. They got ajusted themselves to the climate well and they feel good. All inhabotants of the Antarctic Ocean are well-prepared for living in the North. Great Polar Whale, Sea Unicorn, Beluga Whale spend the whole Polar winter under the ice. it is only in ices that eared seals and other seals rear their young. It is not only about adjustment to cold, the nature has provided for everything that is necessary.


Seals and whales are protected from cold water by means of a thick layer of fat. Having warmed up during dynamic movement, the seal cools off quite slowly, like coffee in a thermos. just under the skin in particular places there are thick blood vessel nets that are supplied with blood and provide the heating. Thermal regulation of whales is done through tail and breast fins. Thermal regulation of seals is proveded via front and rear flappers.


Guillemots and white seagulls get their food in spaces of water among ice even at night. Besides the fat layer these birds havew thick water-proof feathering isolated with down.  Emperor Penguins in water as well as on iceland are protected by special feathering consisting of thick dense short feathers (up to 30 feathers per square cm of skin) together with inner fat that is 2-3 cm thick.


The King of Arctics, the Polar Bear, copes with weather by means of thick layer of fat and protective skin. Also fur takes a special part. Each hair of the fur is hollow iside and is filled with air. it warms the animal even if it is minus 40 degrees Centigrade. Such fur enhances floating abilities and warms the animals in ice-cold water. On land the bear is able to develop speed of 25 km per hour, in water its velocity can be up to 7 km per hour!


Гренландский кит
Рыбы в водах Антарктики