Secret population of polar bears found living in seemingly impossible habitat

Secret population of polar bears found living in seemingly impossible habitat

Researchers have discovered a new population of polar bears living in Greenland. (Image credit: Kristin Laidre/University of Washington)

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A secret population of polar bears in Greenland has been discovered in a seemingly impossible habitat — one that, for most of the year, lacks the floating platforms of sea ice the beasts use to hunt. The unusual group, which scientists previously thought was part of another nearby population, has been hiding in plain sight for hundreds of years.

The bears live on the steep slopes around fjords — long and narrow coastal inlets, where glaciers meet the ocean — and hunt on a patchwork of glacial ice that breaks up in these inlets. The new discovery suggests that some polar bears, at least, may be able to adapt to sea ice disappearing as climate change worsens, the study suggests.

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