Some polar bears in the Arctic are shedding pounds during the time they should be beefing up, a new study shows. It’s the climate change diet and scientists say it’s not good. Scientists found that five of the nine female bears they were tracking lost weight, and four of them lost 2.9 to 5.5 pounds per day. The average polar bear studied weighed about 386 pounds. One bear lost 51 pounds in nine days. Researchers studied the bears for 10 days in April, when they are supposed to begin putting on weight so they can have cubs, feed the cubs and survive through the harsh winter. But because the ice is shrinking, the bears are having a harder time catching seal pups.
Killer whales can learn new sounds
Have you ever wanted to talk to a killer whale? You might start by saying “hello.” In a paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists report that an orca named Wikie was able to copy a variety of new sounds. In the wild, killer whales live in tight-knit pods with unique vocal traditions. Scientists have suspected that orcas acquire these dialects through social learning rather than genetic inheritance. Researchers trained Wikie’s calf to make five sounds outside of Wikie’s natural repertoire. They also tested whether Wikie could emulate six human words or phrases, including “one two three,” “ah ah” and “Amy.” Wikie was successful at learning the novel sounds.