Tag Archives: evolution

Polar Bear Evolution pre-Christmas book sale: discounts on all formats!

I have reduced prices on all formats of my Polar Bear Evolution book for four weeks starting today (8 November-6 December 2023), in time for holiday gift-giving. The ebook version has the largest price reduction (60% of regular price, to US$17.40) but the other discounts are also substantial. This sale is a time limited offer: don’t miss out! Links below.

This is the book for those who are really interested in how grizzly bears could have turned into polar bears and why the story of polar bear evolution could not be told without discussing climate change.

One Amazon reviewer said this about Polar Bear Evolution:

The author of Polar Bear Evolution, Susan Crockford, is a good, credentialed scientist. Her writing is clear; her thinking is also. She has a broad understanding of biology and an informed paleo perspective. Crockford condenses a very large literature on polar bear biology and evolution in this book which will help readers understand the science related to the evolution of an Arctic species. Perhaps the most important aspect of this book is its synthesis of information from the fields of wildlife biology, molecular evolution, paleontology, and climate. Her original ideas and hypotheses on thyroid hormone’s role in evolution are very important and add a credible mechanism of phenotypic change which complements the literature on molecular genetic evolution. Polar Bear Evolution is an important contribution to science and its application in evolutionary biology and wildlife biology. Matthew A. Cronin, Ph.D.

Available at the links below (others also available):

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/1778038328

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1778038328

Canada https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1778038328 [shipping delay for hardcover version is 4-5 weeks]

Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1778038328

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/1778038328

Evolution Earth documentary comments on polar bear survival & adaptation: let’s see how they do

Just a heads-up that this week, PBS in North America will broadcast the “polar” episode of a new documentary called “Evolution Earth.” In my area, it’s scheduled for Wednesday, September 27 at 10:00 PM. It remains to be seen whether this is really about evolution or (given those involved in its production) simply more climate change propaganda similar to that promoted by Attenborough, but I intend to watch and report back.

About the Show: “Evolution Earth embarks on a global expedition to reveal the animals keeping pace with a planet changing at superspeed. Heading out across the globe to distant wilds and modern urban environments, five episodes track how animals are moving, using ingenuity to adapt their behavior, and even evolving in unexpected ways.

We follow heart-warming tales of resilience that redefine our understanding of evolution, and hint at how nature can show us a path towards a sustainable future for Planet Earth. The series is narrated by Dr. Shane Campbell-Staton, who guides us through each episode in an intimate narrative style, drawing on his background as an evolutionary biologist.”

Episode 4 | IceAt the planet’s frozen extremes, shifts in animal movement and behavior reveal vital information about our future world. Examine polar bears in the Arctic, penguins in Antarctica and other animals surviving in icy worlds.

Find tips for watching outside the US here.

UPDATE 27 September 2023: Well, as I expected, this show was full of Attenborough-style nonsense about starving polar bears waiting for sea ice to form along Western Hudson Bay, the bears presented as “canaries in a coal mine” indicators of climate change, with an activist scientist saying she’s “pissed” about climate change. They used charts of the very distinctive pattern of sea ice formation that took place in November 2020 to illustrate how freeze-up was “later and later each year” even though 2020 was one of the earliest freeze-ups on record (bears were successfully hunting from shorefast ice as early as 30 October). A waste of 15 minutes: I couldn’t bear to watch what they did with the penguins.

Continue reading

Natural flexibility explains W Hudson Bay polar bear movements at breakup better than climate change

Hudson Bay in early July this year is a mosaic of more-than-average and less-than-average sea ice coverage but apparently, only the less-than-average ice areas constitute the “early breakup” caused by climate change, and only “deniers” would say otherwise.

I say some folks are cherry picking the ice conditions that support a story line they prefer, forgetting that polar bears know better than they do when to come in off the ice.

Continue reading

New evidence that polar bears survived 1,600 years of ice-free summers in the early Holocene

New evidence indicates that Arctic areas with the thickest ice today probably melted out every year during the summer for about 1,600 years during the early Holocene (ca. 11.3-9.7k years ago), making the Arctic virtually ice-free. As I argue in my new book, this means that polar bears and other Arctic species are capable of surviving extended periods with ice-free summers: otherwise, they would not be alive today.

Money quote: Here we show marine proxy evidence for the disappearance of perennial sea-ice in the southern Lincoln Sea during the Early Holocene, which suggests a widespread transition to seasonal sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean. [Detlef et al. 2023: Abstract]

Continue reading

How grizzlies evolved into polar bears: The first book to tell the whole story is now available

Polar Bear Evolution: A Model for How New Species Arise is the fascinating story of the origin of polar bears. It reveals not just when and where the species came to be, but how it happened and why the bears were able to survive repeated cycles of sea ice change, some of unimaginable severity.

No other book like this exists. Despite decades of serving as an icon for the catastrophic climate change narrative, the polar bear has never had its evolutionary history explained so completely, never mind in a fully-referenced, plain-language style. And I couldn’t have done it without the financial help of my many supporters, so I thank you all again for your assistance in getting this important work completed.

One Amazon reviewer said this about Polar Bear Evolution:

The author of Polar Bear Evolution, Susan Crockford, is a good, credentialed scientist. Her writing is clear; her thinking is also. She has a broad understanding of biology and an informed paleo perspective. Crockford condenses a very large literature on polar bear biology and evolution in this book which will help readers understand the science related to the evolution of an Arctic species. Perhaps the most important aspect of this book is its synthesis of information from the fields of wildlife biology, molecular evolution, paleontology, and climate. Her original ideas and hypotheses on thyroid hormone’s role in evolution are very important and add a credible mechanism of phenotypic change which complements the literature on molecular genetic evolution. Polar Bear Evolution is an important contribution to science and its application in evolutionary biology and wildlife biology. Matthew A. Cronin, Ph.D.

Continue reading

Birthing season for harp seals in Labrador Sea just in time to feed hungry polar bears

The main birthing period for NW Atlantic harp seals has arrived. Local populations of ringed and bearded seal pups will soon follow but in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada, the pupping season for harp seals that is usually in progress by this time has likely been redirected north due to lack of suitable ice conditions. Sea ice off Labrador and Newfoundland is in good condition and this is where the vast majority of the global population go to give birth (ca. 7.6 million vs. 1.5 million in the White Sea and 434,000 in east Greenland).

Continue reading

Polar bear evolution book is progressing well

Just a short update regarding progress on the book. I am deciding on a cover design while addressing suggested changes as they come back from the editor, and preparing marketing material. If all goes to plan, I am on track for a March publication date–thanks to your support.

In the early 1960s paleontologist Bjorn Kurtén thought that polar bears likely arose from a brown bear ancestor based on fossil evidence alone, and his estimate of when this happened was determined by the age of fossil remains of both species. As I will show in the chapters that follow, despite more fossil evidence being available and additional evidence from molecular genetic studies, his estimate is still the most likely time frame for when the polar bear came to be.

Five years ago today, activist scientists tried to silence me: I’m still here but I need your help

On 29 November 2017, I awoke to find derogatory articles featuring me and my work splashed across newspapers worldwide, part of a coordinated effort to promote a paper published in the journal BioScience. More followed. The paper was a vile attempt by 14 activist scientists to silence me and others, assisted in their unethical attack by an enthusiastic media. But it didn’t work.

I’m still here, in part because of your support, both intellectual and financial. I’ve continued to effectively challenge the baseless rhetoric that polar bears are helpless victims of human-caused global warming by providing fully referenced information without climate fear-mongering. I’ve run this blog for ten years, written numerous scientific reports, a peer-reviewed paper, and a raft of entertaining and informative books.

Now I need a bit more help.

I’ve decided to use this occasion to kick-start a donation drive to help cover production costs of my new polar bear evolution book. In many ways, your enthusiastic support over the years has led me to write this book: the complete story of polar bear evolution, including the role of hybridization, but without the baffling scientific jargon. It will put everything we know about polar bears into evolutionary context–not just the when and where but the why and how.

Nothing like this exists and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’m on track for publication in early 2023.

I’m asking those of you with the means to help, to assist me in getting this important book across the finish line. Details below.

UPDATE 1 December 2022: GOAL REACHED! What an amazing community this is–$5210 raised in two days. I am truly grateful for your generosity and moral support. Your donations will ensure that this polar bear evolution book gets published quickly and looks professional. Heartfelt thanks to all who participated. I will announce the winners of the special incentive (see below) next Tuesday, 6 December.

Continue reading

Polar bear evolution and recent genetic papers

Two scientific papers in June on polar bear evolution got a bit of media attention but not what the topic deserves. I’ve not written about them because I am currently working on a larger piece putting this conflicting genetic information into full context. Have patience, it’s coming.

Photographer’s claims that Inuit hunting is unsustainable are not supported

A campaign by an anti-hunting Norwegian photographer to destroy the market for legally-hunted polar bears in Canada makes a few disturbingly false claims and an article at National Geographic in which he is quoted further distorts the picture of polar bear conservation. I understand that some people object to hunting and wish more people felt like they do – but this sort of argument is unlikely to sway any but the most gullible.

Cover photo Ole J Liodden small web

Norwegian photographer Ole Liodden apparently has a master’s degree in “nature management and environmental policy“. He takes fabulous polar bear pictures (I purchased one of them, above, for the cover of my novel, EATEN) but his crusade to ban hunting and trade in polar bear products world-wide has lead him to misrepresent essential facts, which is no way to win an argument. A National Geographic writer and several polar bear specialists have provided additional spin and used it as an excuse to promote their failed prophesies that polar bears are doomed: “Should polar bear hunting be legal? It’s complicated” (28 May 2019).

Continue reading