Polar bears' ancient roots pushed way back

Genetic blueprints suggest the animals arose millions of years ago

3:01pm, July 23, 2012

The polar bear has been around for a surprisingly long time. A new analysis of its DNA suggests that Ursus maritimus split from the brown bear between 4 million and 5 million years ago — around the same time when, some scientists believe, the Arctic’s thick sea ice first formed.

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