Polar Bears Adapt to Climate Change With New Diet

Recent studies find that polar bears have had to shift their diets due to melting ice from climate change.
Posted at 10:12 PM, Jan 25, 2014

​We’re all familiar with having to go on the occasional diet at one point or another, but what if climate change forced you to? Turns out polar bears are shifting their diets to accommodate for melting ice in the Arctic.

Recent studies by researchers from the American Museum of Natural History show that polar bears have had to turn to other sources of food due to global climate change. (Via YouTube / Sean Beckett)

Tech Times writes that, due to global warming, changes in temperature have also caused the ice to melt earlier, leaving the polar bears with no choice but to spend more time hunting on land.” (Via Tech Times)

But just what does a new diet for a polar bear include?

Well, by studying polar bear “scat" or feces, researchers discovered that the white predators are “... foraging opportunistically in a manner consistent with maximizing intake while minimizing energy expenditure associated with movement.” (Via International Business Times)

In other words, more plants and less seal pups. Polar bears can get a little... creative with their diets as well.

In an interview with NBC, a biologist said that people have seen polar bears, “... drink hydraulic fluid as it was drained out of a forklift, chomp the seats of snow machines, and eat lead acid batteries.” (Via NBC news)

There is an upside to this news though – polar bears may not be as vulnerable to climate change as scientists thought. 

One researcher indicated that "There is little doubt that polar bears are very susceptible as global climate change continues to drastically alter the landscape of the northern polar regions… But we're finding that they might be more resilient than is commonly thought." (via Guardian Liberty Voice)

Polar bears were added to the U.S. endangered species list in 2008.