Constantine John Phipps was the first to describe the polar bear as a distinct species in 1774 in his report about his 1773 expedition towards the North Pole. He chose the scientific name Ursus maritimus, the Latin for ‘maritime bear’, due to the animal’s native habitat.
Where was the first polar bear discovered?
Researchers say fossil represents one of the first members of the species. Digging in the frozen tundra of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, scientists have uncovered the remains of the most ancient polar bear ever found.
How long have polar bears existed?
Although there have been many estimates as to how long polar bears have existed – varying from 150,000 to 1.7 million years – the most recent school of thought held that polar bears were relatively “young” evolutionarily and were, in fact, still very closely related to brown bears despite their differences in …
Where was polar bear found?
Polar bears live in the Arctic, on ice-covered waters. Polar bears rely on sea ice to access the seals that are their primary source of food, as well as to rest and breed. The total polar bear population is divided into 19 units or subpopulations. Sixty percent of the sub-populations are in Canada.
How did brown bears turn into polar bears?
The polar bear has evolved over time from the common brown bear by changing its fur colour to white, the ideal colour to blend in with its ice-covered surroundings. With new data an international research team now documents that the separation from the brown bear into an independent species has gone very quickly.
How did polar bears turn white?
Polar bear hair shafts are actually hollow, which allows the fur to reflect back the light of the sun. Much like ice, this reflection is what allows these bears to appear white or even yellow at times. … In a warmer environment (like in a zoo), algae can actually grow inside these tiny hollow hairs.
What are 3 interesting facts about polar bears?
Top 10 facts about polar bears
- Polar bears are classified as marine mammals. …
- Polar bears are actually black, not white. …
- They can swim constantly for days at a time. …
- Less than 2% of polar bear hunts are successful. …
- Scientists can extract polar bear DNA from just their footprints. …
- They face more threats than climate change.
How did polar bear evolve?
Evolutionary studies suggest that polar bears evolved from brown bears during the ice ages. … The timing of when polar bears first appeared as a species is important because it will determine when they experienced warm periods with little sea ice in the past, and help assess their response to current changes in sea ice.
Are polar bears in Antarctica?
No, Polar Bears Do Not Live In Antarctica.
What are the ancestors of polar bears?
However, analysis of mitochondrial DNA – which is passed from mother to child – has shown the extinct Irish brown bears are the ancestors of all today’s polar bears, the scientists said. Their work provides evidence of the two species mating opportunistically during the past 100,000 years or more.
Why don t polar bears catch seals in the summer?
As the ice melts and the seals gain the advantage, polar bears tend fast through most of the summer. Sometimes they will try and hunt seal at night or scavenge for birds, but rarely are there high calory meals. This means that polar bears prefer to rest during the summer months and exert minimal energy.
What eats a polar bear?
Adult polar bears have no natural predators except other polar bears. Cubs less than one year old sometimes are prey to wolves and other carnivores. Newborn cubs may be cannibalized by malnourished mothers or adult male polar bears.
Who is stronger polar bear or grizzly bear?
A grizzly bear is likely able to beat both a polar bear and a black bear in a battle for survival.