A Fossilized Sweet Tooth


Scientists have discovered the fossilized skull of a 3.5 million year old bear in the Canadian Arctic. What makes this ancient Pooh even more cool? His teeth had cavities, indicating that this bear (like his modern cousins) loved to eat sugary foods like berries! This fossil bear was identified as Protarctos abstrusus, a North American species that was just slightly larger than the modern black bear. This amazing find shows that bears during this time period were already able to survive in the extreme northern conditions found in the arctic, and is the most northern record of primitive bears. The scientists guess that this fossil bear would consume large amounts of sugar and fat to prepare for hibernation in the cold winter months. Modern black bears are known to eat up to 30,000 berries a day, so it’s no surprise that, after eating all that sugar (and not brushing their teeth), these ancient bears would have gotten some cavities! Now that’s a sweet tooth!

Want to learn more? Visit https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171218090925.htm

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