- Not Exactly Rocket Science
For polar bears, the price of rapid evolution is a weaker skull
Polar bears have become a poster child for the impacts of climate change on wildlife. Their future may be bleak but their past is altogether more glorious. Polar bears are an evolutionary success story. They’re a recent addition to life’s repertoire, splitting off from their closest relatives – the brown bears – as recently as 150,000 years ago. Within just 20,000 years, they accumulated many adaptations that have made them the masters of their icy realm. But some of these same adaptations could now be their undoing.
The polar bear is the only bear that eats nothing but meat. It is wonderfully adapted to live off the flesh of seals. Graham Slater from the University of California Los Angeles has