Due to climate change, polar bears and grizzly bears are mating and they’ve created a new type of hybrid bear: the pizzly bear.
Climate change, along with human activity like building development, oil and gas drilling, hunting, and pollution, has been negatively impacting polar bear populations and slowly pushing them towards endangerment. Currently, the ICUN has them listed as vulnerable and little conservation efforts are in place to protect them.
Because of climate change decreasing their habitat, many polar bears have been moving further inland to seek out better-suited climates. Similarly, grizzly bears are also shifting habitats due to the warming climate and are migrating north.
Because of this, polar bears and grizzly bears are crossing paths and interacting with one another. In fact, they’re even mating!
Due to their mating, a new hybrid animal has been introduced to the world, the pizzly bear. The pizzly bear is thought to be better equipped to handle the warming climate and adapt to changing environments.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
According to Mail Online, paleontologist Larisa DeSanti said, “This new type of bear is more resilient to climate change and better suited for warmer temperatures.”
As DeSanti explained, she believes that polar bears are struggling because of their blubber-based diet which relies on sea-ice animals, like seals. With those animals becoming harder and harder to find, polar bears will need to change their diet entirely or suffer the consequences.
It’s possible that the pizzly bear will be equipped to handle such a diet change, and Desanti fully believes this is plausible. Along with former undergraduate student Ansley Petherick, Desanti conducted a study to analyze the remains of 20 polar bear specimens.
In the study, they analyzed 10 mandibles and 10 skulls that were unearthed during archaeological digs. It’s believed that some of the specimens date back as far as 1,000 years to the Medieval warming period.
Daily Mail reported that DeSanti discussed their findings, saying:
“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.”
Because grizzly bears have smaller canine teeth and larger molars than polar bears do, DeSanti is especially hopeful that the hybrid bear will be equipped to take on a new, modern diet suited to the changing climate.
Some may be saddened at the thought of polar bears disappearing, but the prizzly bear provides hope that rather than move towards extinction, they’ll adapt and evolve as species have for all of time.Whizzco