Ursus maritimus tyrannus

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Ursus maritimus tyrannus
Temporal range: Late Pleistocene
Ursus maritimus tyrannus.jpg
Hypothetical restoration
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Subfamily: Ursinae
Genus: Ursus
Species: U. maritimus
Subspecies: U. m. tyrannus
Trinomial name
Ursus maritimus tyrannus
Kurtén, 1964

Ursus maritimus tyrannus is an extinct subspecies of polar bear, known from a single fragmentary ulna found in the gravels of the Thames at Kew Bridge, London. It was named by the Finnish paleontologist Björn Kurtén in 1964 and is interpreted to represent a relatively large subadult individual: the ulna is estimated to have been 48.5 cm (19 in) long when complete.[1] For comparison, modern subadult polar bear ulnae are 36–43 cm (14–17 in) long.[1]

An unpublished reinvestigation of the fossil suggests that the fossil is actually a brown bear.[2]


  1. ^ a b Kurtén, B. (1964). "The evolution of the polar bear, Ursus maritimus Phipps". Acta Zoologica Fennica. 108: 1–26. 
  2. ^ Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Wiig, Øystein (2009). "Late Pleistocene fossil find in Svalbard: the oldest remains of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1744) ever discovered". Polar Research. 28 (3): 455. doi:10.1111/j.1751-8369.2008.00087.x.