Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on August 20, 2008
I always enjoy a good hypothetical survival story. Let’s say you were abducted by aliens and given the choice of mating with a greenie or dying a slow, painful death. Would you get it on with the martian? I bet you would.
Global warming seems to be putting the polar bear in a similar situation. As ice in the Arctic melts, the polar is finding itself forced onto the beach while the grizzly bear moves further and further north. And it’s not just their habitats that are overlapping. Scientists say mating of the two species has produced a hybrid they’re calling the “grolar bear”.
Wait a second, you’re saying to yourself — is this for real or just some tabloid story?
It’s real, according to Biologist Dr. George Divoky as printed by the British tabloid The Sun. Divorky has spent over three decades in the Arctic region and, having seen many changes during that time, fears the ice in the North Pole could be completely gone as early as this summer. “I would never be surprised if in 2008 the summer ice disappears,” the tabloid quotes him as saying.
The biologist has seen a major change in polar bears over the last 30 years. During periods of research on the Arctic island, Divorky sleeps in a hut, and “from 1975 to 2002, he saw just three polar bears” nearby foraging for food. But now, he says, “polar bears are annual and regular.” (One year, he saw 20 in three days.)
“Having a polar bear show up in your front yard is one of the more compelling pieces of evidence that climate change is real.”
If you still think I’m making this up, click here to read about a “white bear with brown patches” that was shot in northern Canada and was determined via DNA analysis to be a grolar bear (or, as some folks are calling it, a “pizzly bear”). Seems its dad was a grizzly while its mama was a polar. Pretty cool, eh?
The good news, according to Dr. Divorky is that the grolar/pizzly combo “could mean that it would save the polar bear genes in the grizzly population.”
Sure beats extinction, right? Or mating with an alien. (At least the grolars are cute.)
(via The Sun)