Deer have hollow air that helps to trap and insulate heat during the cold of winter.

How nature helps wildlife survive the harsh winter

People generally don’t mind cold weather that much, as long as it’s reasonable. Layers of clothing, home insulation, modern, well-stocked supermarkets and various semi-affordable sources of energy for home heating allow us to survive even the harshest weather.

But what about wild animals? How can wild animals cope with such prolonged bitter cold conditions?

Nature in general is a great supplier. She makes every effort during the evolutionary process to ensure that each species is able to survive within the ecological niche in which it evolved. Either that or nature will send that species into oblivion we call extinction and adapt another to fill the void.

That is the real meaning of ‘survival of the fittest’, and it is the most inflexible law of nature.

Almost everyone knows that white-tailed deer have “hollow” hairs that help them survive the cold. But not everyone understands how a hollow hair can do that service.

Deer have hollow air that helps to trap and insulate heat during the cold of winter.

Dead air space, such as the air trapped between the layers of glass of double glazing or between the exterior and interior walls of a house, is key. Hollow hairs still have air inside that helps to retain warm body heat and keep out the cold of winter.

At the same time, the densely packed hairs trap even more air around them, adding to their insulating ability.

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