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Evolution of Polar bears

Analysis of a polar bear jawbone that was found on Prins Karls Forland has not only yielded an age of 110.000 to 130.000 years, but also provided new information on the evolution of the species. The results confirm that the species “polar bear” is very young indeed and had split from brown bears as recently as around 150.000 years ago, as DNA analysis from the fossil have shown. Adaptation to the high arctic environment must then have been rather fast and efficient.

Polar bear skull in arctic desert-kind of tundra.
Fossils are rarely found as polar bears spend most of their life on drift ice and usually die there.

Evolution of Polar bears - Palanderbukta

Source: Norwegisches Polarinstitut

last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange