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Vulnerable Polar Bears Are Mating With Grizzly Bears To Create Hybrid Animal

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Vulnerable Polar Bears Are Mating With Grizzly Bears To Create Hybrid AnimalUniversal Image Group/Getty

A hybrid animal that’s a mix of polar bear and grizzly bear has been created in the wake of the ongoing global warming crisis.

It’s not new information that climate change is pushing polar bears to the brink of extinction; as per the IUCN Red List, polar bears are currently classed as vulnerable, with climate change being one of their biggest threats as it’s causing their habitat to shift.

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With this in mind, polar bears are retreating inland as their natural habitats are decreasing, while grizzly bears are moving farther north towards Alaska as the weather warms up. During their travels, it’s thought polar bears and grizzly bears are becoming acquainted with one another and mating.

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As a result of this, a hybrid bear has been created – named a pizzly bear – that’s apparently more equipped to deal with the world’s everchanging climate.

Paleontologist Larisa DeSanti explained to Mail Online, ‘This new type of bear is more resilient to climate change and better suited for warmer temperatures.’

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DeSanti largely blames polar bear’s demise on its diet, which largely consists of eating blubber, something that will have been increasingly more difficult to access in recent times due to a decline in sea-ice animals such as seals.

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However, the paleontologist hopes that the pizzly bear’s diet will be able to adapt to the warming world following a study she conducted alongside former undergraduate student Ansley Petherick.

For the study, they analysed the remains of 20 polar bear specimens: 10 mandibles and 10 skulls that were uncovered at archaeological digs. Some of the remains dated back 1,000 years to the Medieval warming period.

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Discussing their findings, DeSanti explained:

Polar bears are so specialised on hunting seals that they may have a harder time adapting to the warming Arctic. The shift to eating hard foods in a handful of bears in the 21st century is also concerning. Polar bears may be reaching a tipping point and may now be forced to consume less-preferred foods.

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DeSanti and her team also analysed the mouths of polar bears and grizzly bears, which reaffirmed her hopes that pizzly bears will be better suited to a warming climate, as grizzly bears had smaller canines and larger molars – two things thought to be better suited to a diet that doesn’t consist of large amounts of blubber.

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While it’s tragic that the polar bear is seeing such a drastic demise, it’s believed the animal’s genes will be carried on through the pizzly bear.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Animals, Climate Change, Now, polar bear

Credits

Daily Mail
  1. Daily Mail

    Meet the 'pizzly bear': Critically endangered polar bears are mating with grizzly bears in Alaska and creating a hybrid animal that is more resilient to climate change

Niamh Shackleton
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