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BARROW, Ala. — Most Alaskans and Canadians have a bear story — tales of fearsome grizzlies, even polar bears. But a mix of the two? They’re known as pizzlies or grolars, and they’re a fusion of the Arctic white bear and their brown cousins. It’s a blend that’s been turning up more and more in parts of Alaska and Western Canada. Last week, a strange-looking bear was shot by a hunter in Nunavut, a remote territory that curves around Canada’s Hudson Bay. Its head was large, like a grizzly’s, but its fur was white. The bear’s genetics were not tested, but Arctic researchers seem unified in their analysis: It’s a polar-grizzly mix. A hybrid. Textbooks say these two species aren’t supposed to inhabit the same environments. Polar bears are marine mammals; grizzlies are terrestrial. But as the Arctic warms, sea ice is shrinking and the tundra is expanding. And the bears’ disparate populations are meeting, mating and creating a new breed that’s capable of reproducing.
originally posted by: lostbook
The article goes on to say that there is no pure breed of animal; not even humans as some of our DNA comes from Neaderthals. As the environment warms it's bringing Bears closer and other pairs of other species closer together with their biological cousins.....What's to say that some of the animals on the Earth presently are not hybrids of past animals which may be extinct now?
I always had this crazy idea that humans are combinations of different plants and/or animals. I think this is interesting.....What says ATS?
Grashelis said polar bears and grizzly bears have similar genetics and have a history of interbreeding. He believes that interbreeding is happening more frequently due to climate change.
Dave Garshelis, a research scientist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is one of the world's foremost bear experts. (submitted by Dave Garshelis)
"With climate change, grizzly bears are moving further north, so there is more overlap between grizzly bears and polar bears in terms of their range," Garshelis said.
"There are even American black bears that are moving further north. And a few black bears have been spotted outside of Arviat."
Grashelis said a hybrid bear is unofficially called a grolar bear if the sire is a grizzly bear and a pizzly bear if the sire is a polar bear. A third potential name is nanurlak — a word combining the Inuit-language words for polar bear and grizzly, nanuk and aklak.
A problem I see with this is that nature adaptation is slow and haphazard. Human achievement is focused and fast. I wonder how nature can adapt to this...