Polar bear caught eating dolphins and freezing the leftovers

时间:2019-03-29 01:06:01166网络整理admin

Something new on the menu (Image: Samuel Blanc/sblanc.com) THEY’RE two of the world’s most loved animals – but there’s little love between them. Polar bears have been snapped eating white-beaked dolphins that had ventured too far north. While collecting data in Svalbard, Norway, in late April 2014, Jon Aars of the Norwegian Polar Institute and his team stumbled across a bear with two dead white-beaked dolphins, a species no one had ever seen the bears preying upon before. “We think the bear killed them, [using] a similar technique as killing seals,” says Aars. He thinks it caught the two dolphins when, trapped below the sea ice, they found a small hole and surfaced for air. The bear had already eaten most of the first dolphin but couldn’t finish all of its catch in one sitting. So it made use of the natural freezer, storing a second dolphin – still largely intact – under the snow, presumably for a later snack. Hiding leftovers is rare in polar bears. “We think it caught the second dolphin because it could, and then had extra food later,” says Aars. Subsequently, the team came across at least five other polar bears feeding on dead dolphins in the same area (Polar Research, doi.org/5bx). The dolphins were probably from the same pod, which became trapped among the ice by strong northerly winds. This article appeared in print under the headline “Polar bears devour lost dolphins” More on these topics: