Ancient DNA suggests polar bears evolved recently | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Ancient DNA suggests polar bears evolved recently

Rare fossil shows creatures are most closely related to modern-day brown bears in Alaska

5:35pm, March 1, 2010

The polar bear probably evolved no more than 150,000 years ago and is most closely related to brown bears that now live in southeastern Alaska, new genetic analyses of a rare fossil suggest.

Ursus maritimus, the polar bear, is a specialized predator that — ignoring the bears that forage for garbage in towns and villages along the Arctic coast — hunts solely on sea ice.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content