Polar bears are a geologically very new species-

This is quite relevant because we have been discussing how grizzly bears are displacing polar bears in the Arctic.  We already knew brown bears were polar bears’ ancestors.

Ancient DNA from Rare Fossil Reveals That Polar Bears Evolved Recently and Adapted Quickly. Science Daily.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

4 Responses to Ancient DNA from Rare Fossil Reveals That Polar Bears Evolved Recently and Adapted Quickly

  1. monty says:

    Recently, on a National Geographic TV program, they covered the killing of a “wierd” looking bear (northern Yukon) that they suspected was a cross between a polar & grizzly. The bear was predominatly white with brown coloring around the eyes with grizzly claws. As I didn’t view the entire program, I don’t know what the results were from the subsqeuent DNA analysis.

  2. Virginia says:

    For several years now, we have heard of the terrible plight of the polar bear, and yet no one seems to be taking it very seriously with the exception of those of us who believe the climate is changing and even we cannot do enough. When will the people who can do something about it figure it out before it is too late for these awesome creatures who “evolved recently and adapted quickly” as in 160,000 years? What will it take?

  3. Aaron M.C. says:

    It would be better termed variation among bears, not evolution. Technically, polar bears and grizzlies are the same animal.

    “Evolution” would denote the development of new biological machinery. Unless, of course, if you term variation within an animal, and development of new biological machinery, both as evolution.

  4. monty says:

    Virigina, in terms of climate change, Bill Gates–finally–has joined in the debate. To read his speech “Goggle” TED!


March 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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