Flexible foraging for Polar Bears, reported in ScienceDaily 22 December 1013 and BMC Ecology 21 December 2013. Polar Bears are well known for going out on the sea ice to hunt ringed seal pups, but what do they eat during the ice free season?
Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History have studied the feeding habits of polar bears in the western Hudson’s Bay region during the ice free periods, and found they are developing “flexible foraging strategies while on land, such as prey-switching and eating a mixed diet of plants and animals”. The researchers found the bears prey on snow geese and caribou, and also eat snow geese eggs. As part of their research the scientists examined the scats (droppings) of the bears and noted 84.9% of the scats contained at least one type of plant. The most common plants consumed were Lyme grass seed heads (Leymus arenarius), berries and marine algae (seaweed). The researchers concluded the bears were “foraging opportunistically in a manner consistent with maximizing intake while minimizing energy expenditure associated with movement”. The scientists also suggested the omnivorous diet had other benefits such as providing vitamins and minerals, diluting toxins and “assessing new foods for potential switching”. The researchers suggest polar bears are able to eat a mixed diet because they share a genetic heritage with brown bears.
Editorial Comment: Having done expeditions into the cold wilds of Alaska this editor can confirm that all the blue poo we look for to tell us what bears are around comes from their digesting blueberries, and the strands of roughage in it are from grass which they eat with their “carnivorous teeth”.
These new research results also fly in the face of the global warming activists’ predictions that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct because they won’t be able to hunt seal pups on the non-existent melted sea ice. In fact, this research confirms what people who live with polar bears have known all along, i.e. polar bears are opportunistic feeders, and they will eat whatever is available.
Genesis tells us in the beginning all animals ate plants so the dark bear ancestors of polar bears would have done very well on a diet of plant food. After Noah’s flood the environment degenerated, and snow and ice came to the world. Animals degenerated and lost their pigment and retreated to the arctic snow fields for “camouflage”, could no longer live exclusively on plant foods, as plants don’t grow in the almost perpetual winter. Therefore, they ate whatever they could catch and eat. Polar bears were able to eat seals because they can move over the ice, they are big bullies, and they also have almost no competition to catch baby seals. But when there is no ice they can, and will, survive quite well, and at present, despite the gore of the climate change/global warmists, the POLAR Bears are increasing in number. (Ref. diet, climate, Ursus maritimus)
Evidence News, vol.14, No.1
5 February 2014
Creation Research Australia