Norwegian Scientists discover Polar Bears Feasting on Dolphins
In a study conducted in Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic, researchers have brought to the fore an interesting fact. They have witnessed polar bears feasting merrily on dolphins, for the first time ever.
The research that was published this month in the latest edition of Polar Research, documents the results dating back even to April 2014, when the first instance of a polar bear feeding on two white-beaked dolphins was witnessed.
What the researchers noted was rather interesting. They found a polar bear devouring one of the dolphins and covering a second one with snow, in order to save the prey for later. In addition, they also found seven more dolphin carcasses, which they believed served as the food of six different polar bears.
The scientists blamed global warming for the bears expanding their diet, to include dolphins. This was because climate change brought new species towards the north. Dolphins normally took a trip to the arctic in summers when the ice melted and rarely, were they observed in winters or spring, when the sea was typically covered with ice. However, the warm water, as a result of global warming, enticed these otherwise casual visitors.
Jon Aars, from the Norwegian Polar Institute, reportedly told the Guardian that he had photographed the polar bears while they ate two dolphins. The researcher opined that the hapless dolphins were captured by their predators, while they surfaced to breathe through a small hole in the ice.
However, the irony of the situation was that, the powerful predators, polar bears, are themselves at a risk due to the melting poles.
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