Tickle City Evolution – Polar Bears

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It’s commonly believed that natural selection is what dictates success in the animal kingdom: animals that can escape predators survive and pass on their genes. The problem is that for some animals with no natural predators, it is not an ability to survive that dictates reproductive success.

Among Polar Bears, a female will select a male based on his strength, size and health and will then have his children. The following year, however, as the mother is raising those polar bear pups, any other male will come along and attempt to kill the children so that it can impregnate the mother with its own genes. So while antelope are selected for speed and agility, chameleons for an ability to hide, and penguins for their sheer adorability, polar bears are rewarded for their bullying ability.

Imagine a race of bullies: Biffs from Back to the Future, Johnny Lawrences from Karate Kid, and Mike Dexters from Can’t Hardly Wait.

So while I was briefly upset and worried about the state of polar bear morality as a result of this strange evolutionary quirk, I realized that the reason polar bears are still up in the frigid cold is because they’re too stupid to leave and attempt to find greener, and warmer, pastures.

So for keeping polar bears away from my beaches, natural selection, you are tickle city!

By Mark Rosenberg

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