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Animals > Polar bears

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message 1: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5935 comments Mod
Last night I watched a good documentary on the evolution of polar bears on Discovery Channel.
By comparing and contrasting the lives of the polar bear and the brown bear (in Eurasia or British Columbia), the makers showed us how the brown can rely on many sources of food, the polar bear on few.
They said that in the past the two species had interbred and suggested that it will need to occur again for polar bears to survive in a warming climate.
A large brown bear (at one point referred to as a grizzly) was shown skulking around and sharing a whale carcass with a group of adult polar bears.
The comment was made that polar bears are not usually scavengers - however I believe stripping a whale carcass is always going to be easier than hunting a seal, and the problem may be that since bear behaviour began being recorded, the whale population has been decimated.

message 2: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1574 comments Mod
I've been fascinated and saddened by how polar bears who are starving have not yet switched to other food sources.

message 3: by Clare (last edited Dec 25, 2017 09:21AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5935 comments Mod
I've seen some in recent shows catching fish in a river or finding plovers' eggs on the stony shore. Last night they were stripping a whale carcass or one was gnawing berries off a branch. But since little grows in the high Arctic, and what there is grows for only a few months, they can find relatively little edibles.

Compared to the brown bear, the polar bear has much shorter claws. Its digestion is also more suited to a meat-only diet.

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