Sustainability & Energy Efficiency

These 8 Animals Embody Energy Efficiency…Literally! Pt. 1

4 min read

Energy efficiency is important for helping businesses reduce its energy consumption and realize cost savings. According to the EPA, “improving energy efficiency is one of the most constructive and cost-effective ways to address the challenges of high energy prices, energy security and independence, air pollution, and global climate change.”

Constellation offers a variety of energy efficiency solutions, including a program called Efficiency Made Easy (EME). EME is designed to help businesses fund high-impact energy efficiency upgrades through their electricity supply contract. Customers enrolled in EME have saved on energy costs and, between 2011-2013, reduced CO2 emissions by over 166 million pounds and counting.

Yet, Constellation isn’t the only entity that thinks energy efficiency is vital. With the help from our friends at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, we have discovered that certain animals take being energy efficient to a whole new level! In a two-part blog series, we will reveal 8 animals that display extraordinary qualities of conserving energy and adaptation.

In this blog, we will reveal 4 animals residing at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore that exemplify what it means to be truly energy efficient.

To read the second part of this two part blog, click HERE.

Constellation-Polar Bears Photo and info courtesy of The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Polar Bears

  • Polar bears are built to conserve energy and heat in some of the coldest parts of the world by utilizing their thick fur and heavy layers of blubber. Polar bears’ fur is made up of long, oily guard hairs, and shorter, insulating hairs. The guard hairs are hollow, almost like small tubes of glass, and the oily layer provides excellent waterproofing and insulation against the frigid waters.
  • The fat on polar bears’ body ranges in thickness from two to four inches, and allows the bear to float. Polar bears will also bury deeply into a snow bank to create a warm, insulating blanket.
Constellation-Slender Snouted Crocodile Photo and info courtesy of The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Slender-Snouted Crocodiles

  • Like all reptiles, slender-snouted crocodiles are ‘cold-blooded’, which means they don’t expend energy to maintain their internal body temperatures. Instead, they rely on the temperature of their environment to warm themselves to an ideal temperature. This can be witnessed when they are basking in the sun, soaking up the warmth, similar to a solar panel. The energy they are able to generate from their surroundings is essential to them being one of the apex predators in their habitat.
Constellation-Penguins Photo and info courtesy of The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore


  • If you have ever watched a penguin awkwardly waddle along, you are probably wondering how they could make the list of energy efficient animals. Truth be told, penguins’ short legs and big feet put them at a distinct disadvantage, and the waddling allows them to compensate.
  • Penguins use more calories than other animal species of the same weight to walk or run but that’s not because they do extra work with their muscles. Walking is “expensive” for penguins because they have short legs and must rapidly generate force with their muscles to keep their legs rigid during each step, researchers say. The bottom line: Faced with a stout body, tiny legs and big feet, penguins have devised an evolutionary tradeoff and waddle to save energy given what they have to work with.
Constellation-Spotted Turtle Photo and info courtesy of The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Spotted Turtles

  • Turtles native to Maryland, like the spotted turtle, may be the poster child for energy efficiency. Not only do they rely on their environment and the sun to provide energy to function, but a truly amazing trait is how they are able to survive long, cold winters.
  • These turtles spend the winter at the bottom of ponds and streams, rarely moving, at temperatures that are approaching freezing. They are able to shunt, or redirect, their blood flow to only supply oxygen and nutrients to essential organ systems. During this time the turtles expend very little energy and this enables the turtles to stay submerged, without eating or breathing air, for up to 5 months!

Are you interested in learning how your business can benefit from energy efficiency upgrades? Click HERE to request to speak with one of our qualified energy efficiency representatives.


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