The Pizzly: a polar bear / grizzly bear hybrid explained by the Bible.

By Andrew Lamb

16 May 2006
A polar bear

Hunters in Canada recently shot an intriguing bear. It looked like a polar bear, but had several features not normally found in polar bears, including brown fur around the eyes, long claws, and a slightly hunched back. DNA testing confirmed that it was the hybrid offspring of a polar bear mother and a grizzly bear father.1 Hybrids between polar bears and other types of bears have been suspected before,2 but this is the first in-the-wild hybrid to have had its hybrid status proven.

Hybrids of several combinations of bear species have long been bred in zoos, including black bear-brown bear, brown-grizzly, and brown-polar. These species of bear all belong to the same subfamily, Ursinae and the same genus, Ursus.

A grizzly bear

Distinct species, each with their own special adaptations and their own territorial ranges, are easily explained from a biblical framework. Volcanic activity during the Flood warmed the oceans, causing high evaporation and precipitation on the land. Volcanic dust in the atmosphere blocked sunlight and prevented snow melting in summer. This produced an Ice Age, during which ice built up on many continents and sea levels were more than a hundred metres lower. From the mountains of Ararat where the Ark landed, animals gradually spread out around the globe over ensuing generations, aided by Ice Age land bridges in places such as the Bering Strait.

As they moved into different geographical areas, the genetically robust animals adapted, through loss of unsuitable genetic features, to the various niche environments they encountered. Thus bears in the Arctic, for example, lost the genetic information for brown fur, leaving them white—a great advantage to a predator in a snow-and-ice environment. This is an example of natural selection but is not molecules-to-man evolution. For more examples of the various specialised adaptations of the different species of bear, see Bears across the world.

The fact that several species of bear can readily interbreed indicates that they are all of the same original created kind. The field of study involving identifying the original kinds is known as baraminology, based on the Hebrew words bara (create) and min (kind). For more on this topic, see Ligers and Wholphins? What next?


  1. Associated Press, DNA Tests Confirm Bear Was a Hybrid, 10 May 2006
  2. Hybrid animals, accessed 16 May 2005.
Published: 16 May 2006