Kimberley Sullivan's Blog

One busy brown bear!

Posted on: July 8, 2011

I sometimes wonder who dedicates their life to this type of research but a study out today says that all polar bears descended from a single brown bear in Ireland!
 
Apparently, all polar bears are descended from a single female brown bear who lived along Atlantic shore of current-day Ireland some 20,000 to 50,000 years ago.
 
How the hell do they discovered that?! The researchers used DNA samples taken from polar bears across their entire range in Russia, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Alaska to find that they could all be traced back to a single ancestor. The analysis used mitochondrial DNA, which is passed exclusively from females to their offspring.
 
That was one busy brown bear! She must have thought she had to keep trying until one actually came out brown!
 
Kim 😉
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