During a research at a site in Canada's High Arctic the remains of 3.5-million-year-old bear has been found. It is estimated that he can be a close relative of the ancestor of modern bears.
He also seems to be the ancestor of extinct bears of similar age from East Asia. Apart from that, the most important fact relating the bear is that after determining the cavities in his teeth it is said that it also had a sweet tooth. Similar kind of tooth was found in Idaho. This research has revealed that there is a long history of oral infections in the animals, which relates to their sugary diet. Scientists also studied the recovered bones from the skull, jaws and teeth, and parts of the skeleton from two of the individual bears. It has also been found that these Ellesmere Protarctos lived in a northern boreal-type forest habitat, where there would have been 24-hour darkness in winter, as well as about six months of ice and snowfall. Fossil records of ursine bears are poor and their early evolution is still controversial. The survival strategy that the bears developed early in the evolution of bears is commendable.
By: Anita Aishvarya