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The MacFarlane's Bear
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koala
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:01 pm    Post subject: The MacFarlane's Bear Reply with quote

The MacFarlane's Bear is an extinct species of bear that was found in Canada's Northwest Territories. In 1864, naturalist Robert MacFarlane acquired an "enormous" yellow-furred bear skin from the Inuit, as well as the bear's skull. MacFarlane shipped the remains to the Smithsonian Institution where they were placed in storage and soon forgotten. Eventually, the remains were uncovered by Dr. Clinton Hart Merriam, which he recognized as a new species, Ursus inopinatus. In 1918, he went even further and placed it in its own genus, Vetularctos.

With the exception of unconfirmed sightings, the MacFarlane's Bear is thought to have been extinct since the type specimen was obtained in 1864. There have been many theories concerning the origin of the MacFarlane's Bear, which include suggestions that it may have been a freak Grizzly, a Polar Bear x Grizzly Bear hybrid, or even a surviving representative of a Pleistocene species.
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