The fur is a very soft, thick, and relatively short hair growth covering the skin of animals. It is majorly a combination of guard hair and a thick underfur. The guard hair is oily to keep away moisture and protect the skin from rain or snow while the underfur insulates the skin of the animal to keep them warm thereby maintaining the temperature of the animal.
Animals that have fur on their body are mammals – mammals are species that give birth to their young alive, not by laying eggs and they are warm-blooded. Fluffy animals are usually the furriest animals. They can be super cute and all, but they don’t grow their fur just so they can get cuddles.
If you go to the Polar Regions where it is very cold, having some sort of insulation is essential to survive such a part of the world. Unlike humans who can put on coats and boots, animals have to grow a good thick layer of fur under their skins.
The fur on the animal serves many purposes: thermoregulation, waterproof, sensory purposes, camouflage, and protection.
Animals that have fur on their body are as follows;
The fluffy coat of the arctic fox is one of the most distinctive features it has. The fur’s color changes from brown to white. In really cold seasons, the fur grows longer and helps the fox stay insulated from the cold. The fur also covers the underside of their paws which help them find food and escape predators. The now turned white fur makes it hard for predators to notice them in the snow and ice. The fur of the fox is used to make jackets and coats.
The Muskox grows fur for winter, though it normally sheds it during spring when the temperature warms up. A full-grown Muskox sheds about 3.5kg worth of fur which are later spun to make some cloth fabrics.
Chinchillas are rodents seen in the Andes Mountains of South America at an elevation of 9,800 to 16,400 feet. The upper you go, the colder it gets. But these rodents are able to survive in such bitter cold all because they have very dense fur which is the softest fur in the world.
Otters are carnivorous mammals with a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Their thick fur prevents water from touching their skin and absorbing the body heat they have. They are classified as the furriest animals on earth. Comparing them to Chinchillas and Arctic foxes, Otters have about 80,000 fur hair per square centimeter while both the Chinchillas and Arctic foxes have about 20,000 fur hair per square centimeter.
The sea otters found in the North-East Pacific living in colonies are the furriest of all otters and furriest in the whole world having about 100,000 – 400,000 fur hairs per square centimeter according to Guinness World Records. Otter’s fur is used majorly for trimming garments.
This cat breed has a glossy textured fur. The fur has three layers: guard hair, awn hair, and down the hair. The cat is protected from the extreme weather conditions in Russia by these three layers. Its glossy textured fur is the reason the fur is used to make mats.
Beavers are one of the largest rodents in the world. They can grow up to 4 feet reaching about 600 pounds and live up to 19 years. They are semi-aquatic and spend most of their time building dams. Beavers are master architects, this is because their well-built dams and lodges can stand for years. Their fur is very long and wire-like. The fur of beavers are used to make muff, collars, and felt for hats.
Mink are semi-aquatic mammals with long, thin bodies and very short legs belonging to the same family as otters. They have silky soft, long, lustrous fur in varieties of colors coated in oil which help repel water. There are two species of mink; one is referred to as European mink and the other referred to as American mink. The American mink has a fuller and thicker fur than the European mink.
This medium-sized mammal about 2 – 3 feet long is fuzzy creatures with a bushy tail and a sort of covering like a mask around their eyes. They are native to North America but also found in Central America and Europe. They have a grayish fur throughout the length of their body and its fur is used to produce fur.
Coyote is a specie of the canine family. They are smaller and lightly built than wolves and mostly called the American jackal because they look like a jackal. Their fur is long and very coarse with great variation in size and color.
Muskrats are medium-sized rodents found majorly in wetlands. These semi-aquatic animals are round, with small legs and little ears. They have very dense fur which performs two major functions; traps air to keep them warm and helps them to float in water. They are fantastic swimmers and able to hold their breath for about 12 – 17 minutes.
Wolverines are the largest of the weasel family. They are omnivores; they eat both vegetation and meat, though the meat is most preferred. They have a dark fur with a stripe of ivory fur which runs from its shoulders to its tail. They also have dark fur concentrated around their eyes and forehead.
Many of these fur animals are hunted and killed to produce fur clothing. Others are bred and raised domestically and once the animal has enough fur, it is sheared off. Fur clothing is a very old form of clothing and said to be the first set of materials used for clothing, because of the warmth it gives and its luxurious looks.
There are controversies in the use of animal fur for clothing. Some persons because of their concern for animal rights refuse to kill nor wear such. They feel animals should be afforded the same treatment as human beings rather than seeing them as property without feelings.