The polar bear has evolved over time from the common brown bear by changing its fur colour to white, the ideal colour to blend in with its ice-covered surroundings. With new data an international research team now documents that the separation from the brown bear into an independent species has gone very quickly.
Why is the brown bear going extinct?
Formerly hunted for its hides, meat, and as a big game trophy, the brown bear’s most severe threats are currently habitat destruction and persecution.
Did brown bears become polar bears?
Evolutionary studies suggest that polar bears evolved from brown bears during the ice ages. The oldest polar bear fossil, a jaw bone found in Svalbard, is dated at about 110,000 to 130,000 years old. DNA comparisons suggest the species may have split at least 150,000 years ago, and maybe longer.
How did polar bears diverge from brown bears?
The timing of the polar bear–brown bear split coincides with a warm interglacial period, when brown bears may have shifted their range northward and colonized higher latitudes. When the colder climate returned, these bears may have been cut off and forced to adapt to new conditions.
What is the average lifespan of a polar bear?
LIFE CYCLE: Polar bears can live up to 25 or 30 years in the wild.
Do polar bears eat fish?
Food Preferences & Resources
When other food is unavailable, polar bears will eat just about any animal they can get, including reindeer, small rodents, seabirds, waterfowl, fish, eggs, vegetation (including kelp), berries, and human garbage.
Did polar bears evolve from grizzly bears?
Polar bears survive in the Arctic on a diet of primarily seal. … Since the brown or grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) and polar bear (Ursus maritimus) diverged less than 500,000 years ago, the polar bear has evolved unique traits to adapt to the Arctic climate and ecology, such as a camouflaging coat of pigment-free fur.