Science Experiments

Staying Warm

By Annette Gulati
Photo by Nannette Bedway

Staying Warm Image


Whales and many other marine mammals live in cold waters. But they don't have fur, so how do they stay warm?

Try this to find out. Coat one of your fingers with a thick layer of soft margarine or peanut butter. Dip that finger and one other finger into ice water. Why does one finger feel warmer than the other? Think of your own best answer, then read ours below.

The finger coated in margarine or peanut butter should feel warmer. These foods contains fat, which acts as an insulator. The fat keeps the finger warm by holding in heat. Many marine mammals have a layer of insulating fat, called blubber, under the skin. Blubber holds in heat and protects these animals from cold temperatures.

Tell Us What You Think

Tell us what you think about what's on this page. We're always working to make this site better, and your thoughts are very helpful. We are not able to respond to these messages, but we do read them carefully.