18,000-year-old polar bear skull DNA test fails
An extraction of DNA from a polar bear found in a Scottish cave in 1927 has failed.
The skull was originally found in Caves at Inchnadamph and they believe that bear was washed into the cave 18,000 years ago.
The bones are part of collections at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Experts wanted to extract DNA and compare it to morden polar bears but where unable to as there was no DNA left on the skull.
Irish-based Dr Ceiridwen Edwards said to the BBC: "The original rationale behind targeting the Inchnadamph polar bear for ancient DNA analysis was to try and generate an ancient sequence from a morphological polar bear.
"The only sequences of polar bear are from modern samples, and I was wondering if there would be any significant difference between modern and ancient sequences.
"I can usually tell by the colour and texture of a bone sample if it will yield DNA or not, and the Inchnadamph polar bear seemed to me to have a chance of giving data."
A sample taken from what are believed to be the only polar bear remains to have been found in Britain has defied DNA analysis, it has emerged.
Ireland-based genetics expert Ceiridwen Edwards had hoped to compare the DNA of the animal found in a cave in Scotland with that of modern polar bears.
However, she said there was not enough DNA left in the sample for an analysis to be done.
The sample was taken from a skull found in the Bone Caves at Inchnadamph.