Winter White Cloak
With its impeccable winter white robe, a stoat, or ermine (both the animal and its winter coat are called ermine) mirrors its snowy surroundings in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park.
Before and After: See Animals Change Their Coats for Winter
Many northern species grow heavier, whiter fur to camouflage and keep warm in frigid weather.
To survive icy and snowy seasons, nature outfits many animals with spectacular winter coats.
Just as people protect themselves from harsh elements by donning coats, hats, gloves, and boots, many animals on the northern tundra develop heavier coats to keep them warm in frigid weather.
Some grow hair on their feet for better insulation and traction, like the Arctic fox, which uses its fur-covered paws like snowshoes to navigate winter terrain. (Also see “15 Pictures of Cute, Cuddly Animals Playing in the Snow.”)
Snow-white coats serve as camouflage for animals like the Arctic hare, as well as the stoat, which is also called an ermine (pictured above in its signature winter wear).
Its coat may help hide the ermine from predators,