A new children's book on one of their favorite animals -- bears -- includes an electron micrograph taken by two St. Lawrence University science professors.

Bears, by Dagmar Fertl, Michelle Reddy and Erik D. Stoops, was published in the fall of 2000 by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Intended for children aged nine to 12 years, the book is written in a question-and-answer format and includes illustrations.

An electron micrograph of a polar-bear hair, taken by Professor of Biology Thomas Budd and Associate Professor of Physics Daniel Koon, illustrates one of the questions and its answer -- "Q: I've heard that polar-bear hairs are hollow. Sunlight passes through the hair shafts reflecting from side to side, until heat is generated to warm the bear. True? A: Great story, right? Actually, this is not true. But it is true that polar bears have hollow guard hairs, just like the hair of many arctic mammals. Sunlight can pass through the hollow hairs and the bear's black skin absorbs the heat."

Koon has conducted extensive research into the light- and heat-absorbing properties of polar-bear hairs.

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