Scientists estimate that polar bears diverged from brown bears between 250,000 and 130,000 years ago—a recent split when it comes to evolutionary history. Lasting genetic similarities make the two bears biological sister species, more closely related to one another than to any others.
Are polar bears and grizzly bears related?
Genetic analysis has revealed multiple instances of introgressive hybridization between bear species, including introgression of polar bear DNA into brown bears during the Pleistocene (“grizzly bear” is a local common name for Ursus arctos whereas “brown bear” is used internationally and in science to refer to the …
How did grizzly bears evolved into 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.
What are polar bears closely related to?
The oldest known polar bear fossil is approximately 130,000 years old. Polar bears probably diverged about 200,000 years ago from an ancestral brown bear. Polar bears and brown bears are still closely related; when cross-bred, they produce fertile offspring.
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.
Can a grizzly mate with a black bear?
An ursid hybrid is an animal with parents from two different species or subspecies of the bear family (Ursidae). Species and subspecies of bear known to have produced offspring with another bear species or subspecies include black bears, grizzly bears and polar bears, all of which are members of the genus Ursus.
Why did polar bears turn white?
1. Why do polar bears have white fur? Polar bears have white fur so that they can camouflage into their environment. Their coat is so well camouflaged in Arctic environments that it can sometimes pass as a snow drift.