What's it like to be a polar bear as the amount of sea ice shrinks from right beneath you? This new video released by the U.S. Geological Survey might offer some clues.
The clip is footage from one of four collar cams worn by bears living near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and the agency says it offers the first-ever look at life on Arctic sea ice from the point of view of a free-ranging polar bear.
"None of us have ever seen anything like this before," Todd Atwood, leader of the polar bear research program at the USGS' Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, told LiveScience. "It's a 'gee-whiz' feeling, seeing through the eyes of a polar bear."
The clip, filmed in April, shows the bear interacting "with a potential mate, playing with food, and swimming at the water's surface and under the sea ice," the agency wrote in a description that accompanied the video. "These videos will be used by the US Geological Survey in research to understand polar bear behavior and energetics in an Arctic with declining sea ice."
Some of the bears' behavior caught on camera surprised even the experts -- especially a scene in which the female bear and a potential mate mess around with a piece of seal meat.
“The fact that they appear to be playing around with their food, we’re not sure what that means,” Atwood told the Associated Press.
Polar Bears are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.