Polar Bear Evolution and Adaptation
Even though the Polar Bear does fit into the category of being a bear, there is scientific evidence to show it has evolved into a definite species of its own. This is because there are so many differences from them and other forms of bears.
The depth of this research continues because of the many elements of Polar Bears that we still don’t know very much about. It is believed that the Brown Bear is the one species that it is the most closely related to.
One of the main differences between the Polar Bear and other types of bears is where it resides. When this bear was first discovered it was very peculiar that it would live in this extremely cold part of the world.
There is evidence to suggest that more than 38 million years ago the evolution process began that would forever separate the Polar Bear from other types of bears found around the world.
The scientific research that has been conducted including DNA indicates that this is the family of bears that the Polar Bear deviated from. This is based on information that they took from remains of Polar Bears that are approximately 100,000 years old.
Those are the oldest remains for testing that have so far been uncovered.
The theory of most researchers about Polar Bear evolution is very interesting. They believe that a significant number of Brown Bears became isolated from the rest of the population during a period of time when portions of the world were covered in ice.
Therefore these Brown Bears evolved in order to adapt to the environment that they were left to survive in.
One of the most significant changes that have been noted occurred in Polar Bears approximately 20,000 years ago. This has to do with the size and the shape of their molars.
They are very different when compared to those of the Brown Bear species. They allow them to get through the ice, to fight each other for mating, and to kill their prey quickly and easily.
One puzzling fact for experts to ponder is that Polar Bears don’t hibernate. The females that are pregnant due, but it isn’t a constant sleeping status. It is believed that these bears evolved from the need to hibernate.
They are able to survive in an awake state from the blubber which is layers of fat underneath the fur. Other types of bears hibernate due to a lack of food out there available at certain times of the year. Yet that isn’t a problem for the Polar Bear most of the time.
The fact that Polar Bears have been able to evolve over millions of years is very impressive. They are now at the very top of the food chain, and that makes them a very important part of our world. When they drop in numbers things get out of balance.
For example there will be too many seals fighting for their own food and natural habitat. Hopefully Polar Bears will have the additional evolution factors they need in order to survive for millions of more years.