Polar Bears Adapted Quickly in the Past
Monday, March 01 2010 @ 05:52 PM EST
Contributed by: richardpitt
Wired Science has an article pointing to some recent findings about both genetic evidence that polar bears have been around longer than we had thought, and that they have adapted quickly in the past to changes in climatic conditions.
DNA Analysis Shows Polar Bears Have Adapted Quickly in the Past
Genetic analysis of an ancient polar bear fossil has formally dated the species’ birth to 150,000 years ago, shortly before an Ice Age thaw produced a climate comparable to what’s expected in a globally warmed future.
“They’ve certainly experienced climate changes before,” said Charlotte Lindqvist, a biologist at the State University of New York at Buffalo and co-author of the analysis, published March 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The big question is whether they’re going to be able to survive in the future.”
They're still talking about tens of thousands of years, not decades - but there is hope