Thursday, December 08, 2011

Polar bears resorting to cannibalism as Arctic sea ice declines

Polar bears are now being observed by scientists resorting to cannibalism, and expect to see more as Arctic sea ice declines. In “Observations of cannibalism by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) on summer and autumn sea ice at Svalbard, Norway,” published in the journal Arctic, polar bear biologist Ian Stirling and photojournalist Jenny Ross describe seeing three different killings and cannibalism of polar bear cubs by adult males, a known behavioral response to food scarcity. At the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, Ross described the kills, showing her photographs of one of the most gruesome signals of global warming.


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