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Medicine

Polar Bears Resorting to Cannibalism

Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea have begun to cannibalize one another according to a recent study in the online publication Polar Biology. The polar bears’ main food source in the area, ringed seals, are accessible only across ice shelves. Global climate change has melted these shelves, cutting off the bears from their food and forcing them to turn on one another.

What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

Polar bears often kill their own kind as a form of population control, territorial dominance and reproductive advantages, but killing each other for food had rarely been witnessed before the study was released. The study also cited the first example of a mother polar bear being attacked and killed for food in her den, shortly after she had given birth.

“During 24 years of research on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen other incidents of polar bears stalking, killing, and eating other polar bears,” the scientists said in the study.

Global warming is leaving polar bears stranded…

“This is not a Coca-Cola commercial,” said Deborah Williams of Alaska Conservation Solutions.

Some environmentalists are predicting the disappearance of polar bears completely by the end of the century, due to global warming.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]