Polar bears turn cannibalistic as climate change depletes arctic food supply


mentalfloss
#1


Polar bears turn cannibalistic as climate change depletes arctic food supply

Dwindling Arctic Sea ice is cutting off polar bears’ food supply, forcing the starving animals to devour their own kind.

While cannibalism among polar bears isn’t unheard of, experts say the behavior is becoming increasingly common.

“There are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring,” photojournalist Jenny Ross (external - login to view) told BBC News. “Particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change.”

(external - login to view)Ross (external - login to view) explained how the higher temperatures melt ice more quickly, leaving the bears less time to fuel up on ice-dependent seals, the animals’ main source of food.

“Weights of adults are decreasing, litters are smaller, fewer young bears are surviving, and the overall population size is shrinking,” she said.

Ross, whose research was published in the January 2012 edition of Ocean Geographic Magazine (external - login to view), described watching a bear guard its kill, a cub.

“As soon as the adult male became aware that a boat was approaching him, he basically stood to my attention — he straddled the young bear’s body, asserting control over it and conveying ‘this is my food,’” she recalled to BBC News.

“He then picked up the bear in his jaws and, just using the power of his jaws and his neck, transported it from one floe to another.

“And eventually, when he was a considerable distance away, he stopped and fed on the carcass.”

Polar bears turn cannibalistic as climate change*depletes arctic food supply*** - NY Daily News (external - login to view)
 
captain morgan
+1
#2
I hope that we don't have a rash of zombie polar bears as a result of this.
 
Walter
+1
#3
Twas ever thus.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#4
What a load of bull.

Next they'll be saying the seal hunt has depleted the bears food supply.
 
#juan
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

What a load of bull.

Next they'll be saying the seal hunt has depleted the bears food supply.

Over the years one of the biggest dangers facing Polar bear cubs has always been adult male bears. Anything that adds stress
to the situation, like climate change, is bound to make it worse, but adult males have always been opportunistic cannibals.
 
Tonington
+1
#6
While some of the claims Ross makes have been peer reviewed in other publications and by other researchers, I don't think increasing prevalence of cannibalism is one of them. It's definitely a plausible relationship, but I'd like to see how she deals with an alleged increase in prevalence when there has likely been an increased observation effort at the same time. If there has been increased observations, then she would have to account for this possible confoundment.
 
mentalfloss
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

While some of the claims Ross makes have been peer reviewed in other publications and by other researchers, I don't think increasing prevalence of cannibalism is one of them. It's definitely a plausible relationship, but I'd like to see how she deals with an alleged increase in prevalence when there has likely been an increased observation effort at the same time. If there has been increased observations, then she would have to account for this possible confoundment.

Yea, it could be that she's simply injecting her own experience of the matter but more research needs to be done to show direct causation between the warming and polar bear cannibalism.
 
Tonington
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Yea, it could be that she's simply injecting her own experience of the matter but more research needs to be done to show direct causation between the warming and polar bear cannibalism.

It wouldn't actually be direct causation. The causal diagram would have climate change reducing sea ice, which reduces opportunities to feed, which leads to cannibalism. There is another intervening variable, that is that the lack of food leads to malnourishment, which is what actually causes the polar bears to theoretically turn to cannibalism. If they were properly nourished, they would be far less likely to kill and consume another polar bear when the opportunity arises.
 
mentalfloss
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

It wouldn't actually be direct causation. The causal diagram would have climate change reducing sea ice, which reduces opportunities to feed, which leads to cannibalism. There is another intervening variable, that is that the lack of food leads to malnourishment, which is what actually causes the polar bears to theoretically turn to cannibalism. If they were properly nourished, they would be far less likely to kill and consume another polar bear when the opportunity arises.

Okay okay.. how about proximate cause then?
 
Tonington
+1
#10
Sure, that's fine. Her findings may in fact be true, hell they may even be in the peer reviewed lit somewhere, I just don't recall hearing about that.
 
Kakato
+4
#11
What a load of crap! Arctic fox will also eat others,pups,even their own offspring.
Thats something that happens in the animal kingdom the world over but if a photo journalist says it's so then it must be true.

Some of these "researchers" should actually talk to the people who have lived amongst these animals all their life instead of relying what they can gleen off the net.
Next thing you know they will say they are drowning because the sea ice is melting.

With these claims if you follow the money you will see someones usually getting a grant to post this kind of crap.
 
Tonington
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by KakatoView Post

What a load of crap!

Maybe. Without evidence you're the other side of the same coin, hasty to jump to conclusions.
 
Durry
+1
#13
Climate change is responsible for honor killing.
It's not Shafias fault, it's the white guys fault!!
Shafia mother to testify for 4th day in murder trial - Canada - CBC News
 
Kakato
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Maybe. Without evidence you're the other side of the same coin, hasty to jump to conclusions.


No,I dont waste my time with this crap anymore,I spent enough years in the arctic,had dinner many times with Canada's govt. polar bear experts when they did their research which was all the time and hooked them up with what ever they needed along the way to do their studys that I can tell **** from shinola when I see it.
Most of these grant suckers dont make it past Churchill and rarely leave their hotel room because they can do their research right from the net,it's about the biggest scam I have ever seen and its getting worse because so many people gobble it up.

Living in tha arctic is pure survival for man or beast,even humans have resorted to cannibalism up their to survive,this is not something that just happened.

The arctic is not complicated,go live a year on the barrenlands and you will also ask yourself where are all the scientists?Why dont they continue on with me past thompson or churchill?
Now maybe if they had the nuts to go spend 7 weeks on Devon island they would have some credibility on their research.
I've spent my whole working life in the bush,animals eat each other,all the time,live with it.
 
Tonington
+3
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by KakatoView Post

No,I dont waste my time with this crap anymore,I spent enough years in the arctic,had dinner many times with Canada's govt. polar bear experts when they did their research which was all the time and hooked them up with what ever they needed along the way to do their studys that I can tell **** from shinola when I see it.

So, I guess with this tacit knowledge you accumulated while there, you could tell us what the prevalence of cannibalism was when you first arrived, compared to today. It must be grand to know everything about everything, just by living somewhere. You should travel the world.

Quote:

Now maybe if they had the nuts to go spend 7 weeks on Devon island they would have some credibility on their research.

Why? You think that a scientists research credibility is correlated to their nuts?

You're nuts.
 
mentalfloss
#16
Anecdotal evidence.

It's why aspartame and msg will kill YOU today.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#17
Fish tanks cause goldfish to eat their young or is it global warming........ Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
 
Kakato
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

So, I guess with this tacit knowledge you accumulated while there, you could tell us what the prevalence of cannibalism was when you first arrived, compared to today. It must be grand to know everything about everything, just by living somewhere. You should travel the world.



Why? You think that a scientists research credibility is correlated to their nuts?

You're nuts.

Well I think haveing lived in their environment for many years I know a bit more then the person sucking a grant out of the paranoid people who eat this crap up and then go for extra helpings.
There is no differance,bears like other animals will eat their own and even their young and anyone who has spent any time in the bush knows this from experience.
Canada's top govt. polar bear researchers that do most of these studys also think these environuts do more harm then good with their outlandish claims.These real researchers came to our camps many times for a meal,some jetA and a place to stay during a ground blizzard.
In any Arctic camp the real researchers,bioligists and other experienced experts make fun out of these environuts sucking money out of the taxpayers,it's a standing joke that most will never set foot on the barrenlands.

Like I said,the arctic isnt complicated,anyone who has spent time there will know what I mean.
Real research comes when you have your feet on the ground,not what you can get off the net.
 
Tonington
+3
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by KakatoView Post

Well I think haveing lived in their environment for many years I know a bit more then the person sucking a grant out of the paranoid people who eat this crap up and then go for extra helpings.

Yeah, that's exactly the problem. Some of these researchers work up there every year for multiple years recording what they see. You post pictures from a digital camera for example, of a seal that isn't even the same species as the thread topic.

How expert of you...

Quote:

There is no differance,bears like other animals will eat their own and even their young and anyone who has spent any time in the bush knows this from experience.

It's a well known fact, they even mentioned it in the article if you bothered to read it, instead of jumping to conclusions. The issue is whether or not this occurrence is increasing in prevalence. Jesus try reading before jumping in next time.
 
Kakato
+2
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Yeah, that's exactly the problem. Some of these researchers work up there every year for multiple years recording what they see. You post pictures from a digital camera for example, of a seal that isn't even the same species as the thread topic.

How expert of you...

It's a well known fact, they even mentioned it in the article if you bothered to read it, instead of jumping to conclusions. The issue is whether or not this occurrence is increasing in prevalence. Jesus try reading before jumping in next time.

The article kind of lost any merit in the first paragraph.
Quote:

“There are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring,” photojournalist Jenny Ross (external - login to view) told BBC News. “Particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change.”

You do realize that polar bears live on both land and ice?
You do realize the sea ice melts every year and the Churchill polars follow the ice as it melts and they do it on land? They go where the food is,if it's plentifull in one area and lots of belugas are washing up on shore they will be content to stay right there.
You also realize polar bears are equally as happy on land as on the ice?
I think even one single trip past churchill would open your eyes but hey....you read it on the net and a photo journalist says it's true so it must be. Sheeeesh.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#21
Why did the polar bear mark his meal with an X?

 
mentalfloss
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

Why did the polar bear mark his meal with an X?

If you look real closely, it's actually a profile shot of Jesus.
 
Kakato
#23
Heres a funny story,when the Innuit first got internet I was there,they got to read about the horrors going on in their back yard,the ice was melting,polar bears were drowning,the world as they knew it was going to end according to what they read on the internets so it must be true.
Nonetheless they loved the attention they were getting from the world and embraced it.
So this is the readers digest version and we'll jump 3 years into the future where in Rankin inlet and other communities the polar bear quota's were drastically cut to protect this endangered and allmost extinct species.
So in every newspaper in the Kivallik it was front page for everyone to engage in what they called civil disobediance protests.
There was so many polar bears wandering into communities and they couldnt shoot them unless it was self defence so this was encouraged and when a bear was shot in town(self defence) it was common to see the elders and children all going to the kill with knives so they could harvest this bear.
 
Tonington
+3
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by KakatoView Post

The article kind of lost any merit in the first paragraph.

You do realize that polar bears live on both land and ice?

Yes. I know a great deal more than you likely think I know.

Now, do you realize that the article is second hand information from a journalist?

Quote:

You do realize the sea ice melts every year and the Churchill polars follow the ice as it melts and they do it on land?

Yup, every year. In fact the trend is towards earlier melt, and later formation of the sea ice. By the way, you do realize that Churchill polar bears are but one of 19 sub-populations right?

Quote:

They go where the food is,if it's plentifull in one area and lots of belugas are washing up on shore they will be content to stay right there.

They go where they have to, to survive. Are we getting to a point somewhere that is in contention? You're not exactly giving any new information that would lead to falsification of this woman's reported findings.

Quote:

You also realize polar bears are equally as happy on land as on the ice?

You asked them did you? So given the choice, we would expect 50% of bears would stay on land when the ice forms?

Retarded.

Quote:

I think even one single trip past churchill would open your eyes but hey.

I lived in Rankin Inlet, that's well over 400 km North of Churchill, MB. Therefore I will ignore all observations of anyone who I disagree with on all matters relating to the Arctic. Sounds pretty stupid when I say it, doesn't it? Would you like a mirror?

Quote:

...you read it on the net and a photo journalist says it's true so it must be. Sheeeesh.

Umm no, in fact I disputed her claims in my first post. Sheeesh.

Here it is again:
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

While some of the claims Ross makes have been peer reviewed in other publications and by other researchers, I don't think increasing prevalence of cannibalism is one of them. It's definitely a plausible relationship, but I'd like to see how she deals with an alleged increase in prevalence when there has likely been an increased observation effort at the same time. If there has been increased observations, then she would have to account for this possible confoundment.

 
Kakato
+2 / -1
#25
Well im not going to get into all this crap again as it's been shown as fearmongering a long time ago.

I know what I have seen there and I have more arctic experience then most of the fearmonger authors will ever have.
Sorry but there's not many people up there doing research anymore unless from the comfort of their hotel room.As for sub species and all that,like I said,the arctic is huge but theres not many people and the ones that are there and work there all are experts,experience is something you dont get off the net or by reading graphs.

Ice melts in summer,freezes in winter,bears are opportunistic,they will go where the food is on land or water,they can also swim for days.
Theres some expert facts for you.
The arctic doesnt get much simpler then that.

Theres probably less then 100 people who have kept a small remote camp open during the winter months at the arctic circle,I'm one of them and even the most hardened Innuit thought I was crazy to volunteer to attempt that as they wouldnt.
Last edited by Kakato; Jan 12th, 2012 at 01:20 PM..
 
mentalfloss
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by KakatoView Post

Ice melts in summer,freezes in winter,bears are opportunistic,they will go where the food is on land or water,they can also swim for days.

Theres some expert facts for you.

The arctic doesnt get much simpler then that.

I don't think there would be this much concern if the species (or sub-species if you will) could adapt to the environment to survive. It does not appear that this is the case.
 
Tonington
+2
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by KakatoView Post

Theres probably less then 100 people who have kept a small remote camp open during the winter months at the arctic circle,I'm one of them and even the most hardened Innuit thought I was crazy to volunteer to attempt that as they wouldnt.

Do you want a hero cookie or something? You boast and brag like a child.
 
Kakato
+2
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I don't think there would be this much concern if the species (or sub-species if you will) could adapt to the environment to survive. It does not appear that this is the case.

You adapt very fast in the arctic or you die,polars are very good at stalking and hunting people on land,something most Griz wont do.
Some people dont seem to understand that in the summer most ice melts and the bears actually have to live on land during the (gasp) summer.They dont all follow the ice north,if theres food around they stay,if not they go find it.

With the Beverly and Dorothy Caribou herds wandering tha barrenlands it's not like there isnt an abundant supply of food on the tundra.

Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Do you want a hero cookie or something? You boast and brag like a child.

Well,I hate BS and your opening topic is pure BS,I rarely post about stuff I dont know about,this is something I know about from personal experience so I may not be a photo journalist but Im just showing my creds are a bit more believable then the person you posted the opening topic about.

Pure sensationalism and fearmongering in your opener.
Sorry but I like truth,not B.S.

Now if I wanted to be childish I would be handing out bad rep points to those who dont agree with my opinion.
 
Tonington
+1
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by KakatoView Post

Well,I hate BS and your opening topic is pure BS,I rarely post about stuff I dont know about,this is something I know about from personal experience so I may not be a photo journalist but Im just showing my creds are a bit more believable then the person you posted the opening topic about.

Credibility... out the window. I didn't post this thread. Mentalfloss did.

Quote:

Pure sensationalism and fearmongering in your opener.

Are you drinking again? My first post again because you have a bad memory rummy:

Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

While some of the claims Ross makes have been peer reviewed in other publications and by other researchers, I don't think increasing prevalence of cannibalism is one of them. It's definitely a plausible relationship, but I'd like to see how she deals with an alleged increase in prevalence when there has likely been an increased observation effort at the same time. If there has been increased observations, then she would have to account for this possible confoundment.

Pure sensationalism and fear mongering.... One thing you are really good at, digging holes.
 
Kakato
+1
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Credibility... out the window. I didn't post this thread. Mentalfloss did.

Are you drinking again? My first post again because you have a bad memory rummy:



Pure sensationalism and fear mongering.... One thing you are really good at, digging holes.



Ahhhh,now the insults,sorry but I dont drink.
I also hold level 1 and 2 supervisor certificates for remote arctic camps and have managed a few camps.
Everyone digs holes in the arctic,they also pack groceries and burn **** bags and It matters not who you are or what title you hold.
You obviously have no idea what it's like on the other side except from what you read on the net,how sad.

Theres also Griz in the arctic,guess they arent as cute as a polar so they get neglected,check out this starving bear,good thing they put it out of it's misery before it died of starvation.
Last edited by Kakato; Jan 12th, 2012 at 01:59 PM..
 

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