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New type of bear gains traction: “Pizli



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– Polar bears and grizzly bears diverged about 500,000 years ago. Now a changing planet seems to bring them back. Live Science reports that the two species collide with each other – and mate – with greater frequency in recent years, leading to a hybrid bear known as “pizzas” or “growls”. There are two factors behind the phenomenon: Grizzlies are moving north due to higher temperatures, and polar bears are moving south in search of food as Arctic ice melts. Here is what Alice Stanley of Earther says: “What do you get when you cross a polar bear and a grizzly bear? A fluffy reminder of how climate change is transforming our planet at an alarming rate.”

; Because the two bears recently separated, relatively speaking, they can still mate and produce offspring, says Larisa DeSantis of Vanderbilt in a YouTube video.

“Hybrids are usually not more suitable for their environment than their parents, but it is likely that these hybrids will be able to find food for a wider range of food sources,” she told Live Science. Polar bears, unlike grizzlies, have a specific diet and their longer skulls make them able to snatch seals from the sea. Given all the fat they eat, polar bears also have relatively small teeth. “We don’t know yet, but maybe the pizza intermediate skull could give a biomechanical advantage,” says DeSantis. Pizzlies were spotted back in 2006, but their numbers are growing. A 2017 study found that at least eight of the hybrids arose from the pairing of a female polar bear and two separate male grizzlies. Researchers have confirmed that pizzerias can produce their own offspring. (A mysterious disease removes their fear of people.)




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