These three ‘bears’ are not monophyletic

More heresy:
When I added three bears (polar, short-face and panda (= Ursus, Arctodus and Ailuropoda) to the large reptile tree (LRT, 1298 taxa) they nested apart from dogs and bear-dogs AND they did not nest together. Rather all three arose from separate types of weasels (= Mustela, Puijila, and Gulo).

Figure 1. Subset of the LRT focusing on the Carnivora with tan tones on the bears newly added.

Figure 1. Subset of the LRT focusing on the Carnivora with tan tones on the bears newly added.

Ailuropoda melanoleuca (David 1869) is the extant giant panda. Here it nests between the weasel, Mustela and the rest of the bear/seal clade. This odd carnivore eats bamboo. The centrale extends beyond the wrist forming a new medial digit, the panda’s ‘thumb’.

Ursus maritimus (Phipps 1774; up to 3m in length) is the extant polar bear, a hypercarnivore restricted to cold climates. Bears split from other Carnivora, specifically the giant weasel, Puijila, some 38mya.

Arctodus simus (Leidy 1854; Cope 1874; up to 3 to 3.7m tall) is the extinct short-faced bear, one of the largest terrestrial mammalian carnivores of all time. Here it nests as a giant wolverine (genus: Gulo, also newly added). Long limbs made it a fast predator.

More details on these taxa coming soon.

References
Cope ED 1879. The cave bear of California. American Naturalist 13:791.
Kellogg AR 1931. Pelagic mammals of the Temblor Formation of the Kern River region, California. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science 19(12):217-397.
Kohno N, Barnes LG and Hirota K 1994. Miocene fossil pinnipeds of the genera Prototaria and Neotherium (Carnivora; Otariidae; Imagotariinae) in the North Pacific Ocean: Evolution, relationships and distribution. The Island Arc. 3(4): 285–308. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1738.1994.tb00117.x
Kumar V et al. 2017. The evolutionary history of bears is characterized by gene flow across species. Nature.com/scientificreports. 7:46487
Leidy 1854. Remarks on Sus americanus or Harlanus americanus, and on other extinct mammals. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 7:90.
Linneaus C von 1761. Fauna Suecica sistens Animalia Sueciae Regni: Mammalia, Aves, Amphibia, Pisces, Insecta, Vermes. Distributa per Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Differentiis Specierum, Synonymis Auctorum, Nominibus Incolarum, Locis Natalium, Descriptionibus insectorum. Editio altera, auctior. Stockholmiae: L. Salvii, 48 + 578 pp.,
Phipps CJ 1774. A voyage towards the North Pole: undertaken by His Majesty’s command. J. Nourse, London.

wiki/Ursus
wiki/Puijila
wiki/Neotherium
wiki/Mustela
wiki/Giant_panda
wiki/Short-faced_bear

 

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