Polar Bears 101. View all of the Bear images! [44] The general dental formula for living bears is: Fur color can vary from black to chocolate brown with gray combinations. Except for one subspecies of grizzly bear, the polar bear is the largest and most powerful carnivore on land. [104], Bears do not have many predators. Pandas are unique in having a bony extension on the wrist of the front feet which acts as a thumb, and is used for gripping bamboo shoots as the animals feed. A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. This form is conventionally said to be related to a Proto-Indo-European word for "brown", so that "bear" would mean "the brown one". [96] In northern living species, birth takes place during winter dormancy. Courtship may be brief, although in some Asian species, courting pairs may engage in wrestling, hugging, mock fighting and vocalizing. They are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans. The WSU Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center is the only grizzly bear research center of its kind in the United States. The muzzle is elongated with a "Roman-nosed" (slightly arched) snout. [117], Laws have been passed in many areas of the world to protect bears from habitat destruction. Characteristics. One is all species of bears are classified in seven subfamilies as adopted here and related articles: Amphicynodontinae, Hemicyoninae, Ursavinae, Agriotheriinae, Ailuropodinae, Tremarctinae, and Ursinae. It is likely ancestral to all bears within Ursinae, perhaps aside from the sloth bear. [66] Smaller bears climb trees to obtain mast (edible reproductive parts, such as acorns). Ice forms when the wet fur is exposed to air temperatures at or below freezing. Polar bears can sniff the snow-covered breathing hole of a seal from a distance of one kilometre. Bears are highly evolved social animals with intelligence comparable to that of the great apes. Since the invention of firearms, people have been able to kill bears with greater ease. Bears can stand on their hind feet and sit up straight with remarkable balance. Conflicting forces shape the bear's nature, and as a classic omnivore, this burly beast exhibits two distinct sides to its personality. The most important are humans, and as they started cultivating crops, they increasingly came in conflict with the bears that raided them. However, male Kodiak bears average 600 – 1,400 pounds or more, and females average 400 – 700 pounds or more. The brown bear has a slight hump above its shoulder, round ears, a long snout and big paws with long, curved claws that it uses for digging. Oxidation from the sun, or staining, can make the hairs look yellow or brown. Grizzly bears have a multitude of strengths. This genus is probably the direct ancestor to the North American short-faced bears (genus Arctodus), the South American short-faced bears (Arctotherium), and the spectacled bears, Tremarctos, represented by both an extinct North American species (T. floridanus), and the lone surviving representative of the Tremarctinae, the South American spectacled bear (T. [65] Knowing when plants are ripe for eating is a learned behavior. The limbs are much straighter than those of the big cats as there is no need for them to flex in the same way due to the differences in their gait. Bark may be spread around to draw attention to the marking post. The ears are small compared to those of other bears - an adaptation that enables them to conserve body heat. [26], The New World short-faced bears (Tremarctinae) differentiated from Ursinae following a dispersal event into North America during the mid-Miocene (about 13 Mya). Thanks to its sharp nose with the help of which the bear is able to smell its primary prey (ringed seal) hidden 2 feet under the snow. All the remaining species of bear are Asian. 1. ornatus). Guard hairs may be as long as 15 cm (6 in.). Male polar bears (boars) grow two to three times the size of females (sows). It has no natural predators and knows no fear of humans, making it an extremely dangerous animal. [52][81] For hibernating species, weight gain is important as it provides nourishment during winter dormancy. [70][71] Bromeliads can make up to 50% of the diet of the spectacled bear, which also has strong jaws to bite them open. Though really translucent, the hairs appear white because of their highly reflective quality. [149] The Hanna-Barbera character Yogi Bear has appeared in numerous comic books, animated television shows and films. From fur to skin, to paws and claws, learn how the sea bear’s physique is built to dominate the Arctic. A subordinate may respond with a lateral orientation, by turning away and dropping the head and by sitting or lying down. And surprisingly, the fur isn’t actually white—it just looks that way. However, all bears feed on any food source that becomes seasonally available. It can weigh between 350-1,500 pounds. [41] Prehistoric North and South American short-faced bears were the largest species known to have lived. The American black bear is the smallest North American bear. Polar bears are built for the cold. The largest polar bear ever recorded was a male weighing 1,002 kg (2,209 lb.) [15], The subfamily Ursinae experienced a dramatic proliferation of taxa about 5.3–4.5 Mya, coincident with major environmental changes; the first members of the genus Ursus appeared around this time. [52][54] Hence, in more northern temperate areas, browsing and grazing is more common early in spring and later becomes more restricted. They usually follow her on foot, but sloth bear cubs may ride on their mother's back. Polar bears have large paws compared to body size, reaching 30 cm (12 in.) and are about 1.8 to 2.5 m (6.0-8.2 ft.) long. Ailuropodinae It lives only on Kodiak Island and neighbouring islands. Brown bear Description. [3] This terminology for the animal originated as a taboo avoidance term: proto-Germanic tribes replaced their original word for bear—arkto—with this euphemistic expression out of fear that speaking the animal's true name might cause it to appear. Spectacled bears, also called Andean bears, are among the smallest members of the family Ursidae. [1][2] However, Ringe notes that while this etymology is semantically plausible, a word meaning "brown" of this form cannot be found in Proto-Indo-European. Its ability to digest cellulose is ascribed to the microbes in its gut. The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii has been found in polar bears, and the nematode Trichinella nativa can cause a serious infection and decline in older polar bears. 2. The hind paws are elongated. They can probably smell cadavers from a distance of 30 kilometres. By 3–4 Mya, the species Ursus minimus appears in the fossil record of Europe; apart from its size, it was nearly identical to today's Asian black bear. [64], When foraging for plants, bears choose to eat them at the stage when they are at their most nutritious and digestible, typically avoiding older grasses, sedges and leaves. The English word "bear" comes from Old English bera and belongs to a family of names for the bear in Germanic languages, such as Swedish björn, also used as a first name. [28][29] The polar bear is the most recently evolved species and descended from a population of brown bears that became isolated in northern latitudes by glaciation 400,000 years ago. The polar bear is considered to be the largest extant species, with adult males weighing 350–700 kilograms (770–1,500 pounds) and measuring 2.4–3 metres (7 ft 10 in–9 ft 10 in) in total length. [58], Brown and American black bears are generally diurnal, meaning that they are active for the most part during the day, though they may forage substantially by night. When standing on its hind legs it can be up to 5 feet tall. [54], Extant bears are found in sixty countries primarily in the Northern Hemisphere and are concentrated in Asia, North America, and Europe. [143], Bears are popular in children's stories, including Winnie the Pooh,[144] Paddington Bear,[145] Gentle Ben[146] and "The Brown Bear of Norway". [95] Lifespan may also vary between species. © 2021 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. More than 12,000 bears are thought to be kept on farms in China, Vietnam, and South Korea for the production of bile. [13], The earliest members of Ursidae belong to the extinct subfamily Amphicynodontinae, including Parictis (late Eocene to early middle Miocene, 38–18 Mya) and the slightly younger Allocyon (early Oligocene, 34–30 Mya), both from North America. Bears are beautiful, sentient beings who are extremely large in personality, polite, and even empathetic. [44], The skulls of bears are massive, providing anchorage for the powerful masseter and temporal jaw muscles. Agriotheriinae In Cantonese cuisine, bear paws are considered a delicacy. The smallest species is the sun bear, which ranges 25–65 kg (55–145 lb) in weight and 100–140 cm (40–55 in) in length. [79][76] Large mammalian prey is typically killed by a bite to the head or neck, or (in the case of young) simply pinned down and mauled. Despite the name, black bears can actually come in shades of black, blue-black, cinnamon, brown, and in very rare instances, white. [15] European genera morphologically very similar to Allocyon, and to the much younger American Kolponomos (about 18 Mya),[16] are known from the Oligocene, including Amphicticeps and Amphicynodon. [47] Individuals may approach each other by stiff-legged walking with the head lowered. [49][83][84][85][86][87], Bears sometimes communicate with visual displays such as standing upright, which exaggerates the individual's size. From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. The sole of a polar bear's foot has thick, black pads covered with small, soft papillae (dermal bumps). [64][77][76] These animals may be taken by a short rush and ambush, though hiding young may be stiffed out and pounced on. Bears are found on the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, which are home to around 30% of the wild panda population, gained a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2006. An exception is the spectacled bear; native to South America, it inhabits the Andean region. [98] Cubs may flee and the mother defends them even at the cost of her life. The IUCN lists six bear species as vulnerable or endangered, and even least concern species, such as the brown bear, are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. Detecting food from great distances away, grizzlies have an astute sense of smell, even better than that of a hound dog. Bears treat humans just as they would other bears; the problem is that bears are very physical with each other, with the intentional use of bites, swats or body posturing. [153], Bears, like other animals, may symbolize nations. They may be diurnal or nocturnal and have an excellent sense of smell. [54] For example, Asiatic black bears in Taiwan consume large numbers of acorns when these are most common, and switch to ungulates at other times of the year. So are we! and are about 2.5 to 3 m (8.2-9.8 ft.) long. Physical Characteristics: Sun bears have short, sleek and dense black fur, unlike other bear species. Except for one subspecies of grizzly bear, the polar bear is the largest and most powerful carnivore on land. [142] Ursa Major has been associated with a bear for as much as 13,000 years since Paleolithic times, in the widespread Cosmic Hunt myths. Click through all of our Bear images in the gallery. Physical Characteristics The largest of living carnivores, grizzly bears are 5 - 8 feet in length from head to rump.They are 3½ - 5 feet tall at the shoulder and can tower at an intimidating height of 8 - 10 feet when standing upright on their hind legs. [49] They possess air pouches connected to the pharynx which may amplify their vocalizations. Giant Panda Bear: The Giant Panda Bear has a very distinct appearance with black patches around … Bear Characteristics: Large • Confident • Ethical • Protective • Blunt • Overpowering Scientific Name: Euarctos Americanus Collective Term: A maul of bears. Find a variety of free classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals. A polar bear's eyes are dark brown, set relatively close together, and face forward. Kodiak bears are an incredibly large subspecies of brown bear. Boars weigh about 350 to more than 650 kg (772-1,433 lb.) The latter estimated to have weighed 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) and stood 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in) tall. There were five bear-baiting gardens in Southwark, London at that time; archaeological remains of three of these have survived. [31], There are two phylogenetic hypotheses on the relationships among extant and fossil bear species. (2007)[37] The giant panda, followed by the spectacled bear are clearly the oldest species. A Cephalogale-like species gave rise to the genus Ursavus during the early Oligocene (30–28 Mya); this genus proliferated into many species in Asia and is ancestral to all living bears. Duality Personified. The relationships of the other species are not very well resolved, though the polar bear and the brown bear form a close grouping. Bear Trust International works for wild bears and other wildlife through four core program initiatives, namely Conservation Education, Wild Bear Research, Wild Bear Management, and Habitat Conservation.[156]. General Characteristics Bears are multi-faceted individuals, not that unlike us. [46] Relying as they do on strength rather than speed, bears have relatively short limbs with thick bones to support their bulk. One of the more notable facts about this species is that they are excellent climbers, even when cubs. An average-sized bear might range from 5 to 8 feet in length and weigh 700 pounds, however, much smaller and much larger specimens occur. They eat anything from leaves, roots, and berries to insects, carrion, fresh meat, and fish, and have digestive systems and teeth adapted to such a diet. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. Though most commonly considered black in color they are actually color phases of the blue-black, cinnamon or blue-gray glacier bear. ", "Elizabethan Playhouses and Bear Baiting Arenas Given Protection", "Trichinellosis Associated with Bear Meat", "Ptolemy's Almagest First printed edition, 1515", "The cosmic hunt: variants of a Siberian – North-American myth", "A Point of View: The grownups with teddy bears", "What the West thinks about Russia is not necessarily true", "Forest Fire Prevention – Smokey Bear (1944–Present)", "Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding", The Bears Project – Information, reports and images of European brown bears and other living species, The Bear Book and Curriculum Guide – a compilation of stories about all eight species of bears worldwide, including STEM lessons rooted in bear research, ecology, and conservation, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bear&oldid=996408837, Taxa named by Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Articles containing Old English (ca. Polar bear, great white northern bear found throughout the Arctic region. [62][88], Bears may mark territory by rubbing against trees and other objects which may serve to spread their scent. Trade in bear products is prohibited under CITES, but bear bile has been detected in shampoos, wine and herbal medicines sold in Canada, the United States and Australia. [121][122] In poorer rural regions, attitudes may be more shaped by the dangers posed by bears, and the economic costs they cause to farmers and ranchers. CHARACTERISTICS. Injuries caused by bears are rare, but are widely reported. Polar bear, great white northern bear found throughout the Arctic region. Tongue-clicking, grunting or chuffing many be made in cordial situations, such as between mothers and cubs or courting couples, while moaning, huffing, snorting or blowing air is made when an individual is stressed. [65] The panda's diet is over 99% bamboo,[69] of 30 different species. It has ears that are often pointed and a short tail. [61][62] Fights between males can occur and older individuals may have extensive scarring, which suggests that maintaining dominance can be intense. They use olfaction to locate other foods, encounter mates, avoid rivals and recognize their cubs. Bears have been hunted since prehistoric times for their meat and fur; they have been used for bear-baiting and other forms of entertainment, such as being made to dance. [44] While bears tend to be uniform in color, some species may have markings on the chest or face and the giant panda has a bold black-and-white pelage. [110] By contrast, polar bears have few parasites; many parasitic species need a secondary, usually terrestrial, host, and the polar bear's life style is such that few alternative hosts exist in their environment. An average-sized bear might range from 5 to 8 feet in length and weigh 700 pounds, however, much smaller and much larger specimens occur. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats and illegal trade in bear parts, including the Asian bile bear market. [42][43] Body weight varies throughout the year in bears of temperate and arctic climates, as they build up fat reserves in the summer and autumn and lose weight during the winter. The tail is small, about 7 to 12 cm (2.8-4.7 in.) The WSU Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center is the only grizzly bear research center of its kind in the United States. Today, the grizzly bear remains in a few isolated locations in … The Brown Bear is often mistaken for a Grizzly Bear, which is a subspecies, due to the resemblance in their physical appearance. Brown bear size is highly variable, depending both on subspecies and food availability. [13][94], Bears are parasitized by eighty species of parasites, including single-celled protozoans and gastro-intestinal worms, and nematodes and flukes in their heart, liver, lungs and bloodstream. Polar bears swallow most food in large chunks rather than chewing. Nuclear chromosome analysis show that the karyotype of the six ursine bears is nearly identical, with each having 74 chromosomes (see Ursid hybrid), whereas the giant panda has 42 chromosomes and the spectacled bear 52. The cladogram is based on molecular phylogeny of six genes in Flynn, 2005. The coat can vary from pure white to yellow to light brown depending upon season and angle of light. .mw-parser-output table.clade{border-spacing:0;margin:0;font-size:100%;line-height:100%;border-collapse:separate;width:auto}.mw-parser-output table.clade table.clade{width:100%;line-height:inherit}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label{width:0.7em;padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:bottom;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;border-bottom:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width{overflow:hidden;text-overflow:ellipsis}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.first{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel{padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:top;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.last{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar{vertical-align:middle;text-align:left;padding:0 0.5em;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar.reverse{text-align:right;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf{border:0;padding:0;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leafR{border:0;padding:0;text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf.reverse{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkA{background-color:yellow}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkB{background-color:green}, Note that although they are called "bears" in some languages, red pandas and raccoons and their close relatives are not bears, but rather musteloids. ", 10.2192/1537-6176(2006)17[95:TROABB]2.0.CO;2, "Predatory behavior of grizzly bears feeding on elk calves in Yellowstone National Park, 1986–1988", "Assessment and Update Status Report on the Grizzly Bear (, "Humming in bears: a peculiar sustained mammalian vocalization", 10.1644/1545-1410(2001)647<0001:ua>2.0.co;2, "Mating Strategies in Relation to Sexually Selected Infanticide in a Non-Social Carnivore: The Brown Bear", "The dilemma of female mate selection in the brown bear, a species with sexually selected infanticide", "Intraspecific predation in Scandinavian brown bears older than cubs-of-the-year", "Diseases and mortality in free-ranging brown bear (, "Denning ecology of brown bears and Asiatic black bears in the Russian Far East", "Studies on endoparasites of the black bear (, "Brown Bear – Threats Grizzlies: Found in 2% of their former range", "Keyword search: "Ursidae", Exact phrase, The entire database", 10.2192/1537-6176(2004)015<0181:PPOLCI>2.0.CO;2, 10.2192/1537-6176(2006)17[8:ABCAR]2.0.CO;2, 10.2192/1537-6176(2005)016[0130:HBCIEK]2.0.CO;2, "Polar Bear–Human Interactions in Canadian National Parks, 1986–2000", "Maulings by Bears: What's Behind the Recent Attacks? By 2–3 months, cubs can follow their mother outside the den. [55] At the extremes are the almost entirely herbivorous giant panda and the mostly carnivorous polar bear. [76][65], The brown bear and both species of black bears sometimes take large ungulates, such as deer and bovids, mostly the young and weak. The polar bear is the largest land carnivore. Young grizzlies also have the ability to climb trees to evade danger, but this skill fades as they become bigger. Ptolemy named the constellations in Greek: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, International Union for Conservation of Nature, "Hooking Up and Using the John: Why Do We Use So Many Euphemisms? [107] Felids like the tiger may also prey on bears,[108][109] particularly cubs, which may also be threatened by canids. [30], The bears form a clade within the Carnivora. However, male Kodiak bears average 600 – 1,400 pounds or more, and females average 400 – 700 pounds or more. and are about 1.8 to … Common characteristics of modern bears include large bodies with stocky legs, long snouts, small rounded ears, shaggy hair, plantigrade paws with five nonretractile claws, and short tails. This makes the large, muscular hind end stand higher than the shoulders. [72], The sloth bear, though not as specialized as polar bears and the panda, has lost several front teeth usually seen in bears, and developed a long, suctioning tongue to feed on the ants, termites, and other burrowing insects they favour. Boars weigh about 350 to more than 650 kg (772-1,433 lb.) The only times bears are encountered in groups are mothers with young or occasional seasonal bounties of rich food (such as salmon runs). Their thick coat may be hot in the tropical humidity, but it protects them from dirt, mud, and insects. [50], Bears have a fairly simple digestive system typical for carnivorans, with a single stomach, short undifferentiated intestines and no cecum. Grizzlies are a subspecies of brown bear; their fur color can be brown, blond, black or a combination of these. This is usually accompanied by clawing and biting the object. [36] Amphicynodontinae under this classification were classified as stem-pinnipeds in the superfamily Phocoidea. There are 80 different North American Bear species; many of these are considered variants of the brown and grizzly bear. [31] Warning sounds include jaw-clicking and lip-popping, while teeth-chatters, bellows, growls, roars and pulsing sounds are made in aggressive encounters. [82], Bears produce a number of vocal and non-vocal sounds. [120] Where bears raid crops or attack livestock, they may come into conflict with humans. General Appearance A massive bear with small, round eyes and ears, a dished-in snout, distinct shoulder hump, powerful body; only Polar Bears are heavier. Her name is derived from the Celtic word for "bear", artos. Of these, D. mansonoides and adult C. aerophila were causing pathological symptoms. Ursus arctos, Brown Bear, Grizzly Bear. Externally they have ticks, fleas and lice. [14] It is unclear whether late-Eocene ursids were also present in Eurasia, although faunal exchange across the Bering land bridge may have been possible during a major sea level low stand as early as the late Eocene (about 37 Mya) and continuing into the early Oligocene. Cubs are born blind and helpless with at most a thin layer of hair, relying on their mother for warmth. Staring is an aggressive act and the facial markings of spectacled bears and giant pandas may help draw attention to the eyes during agonistic encounters. [93], Gestation typically lasts 6–9 months, including delayed implantation, and litter size numbers up to four cubs. [a] The polar bear is considered to be the largest extant species,[39] with adult males weighing 350–700 kilograms (770–1,500 pounds) and measuring 2.4–3 metres (7 ft 10 in–9 ft 10 in) in total length. With their powerful physical presence, they play a prominent role in the arts, mythology, and other cultural aspects of various human societies. [51][52] Even the herbivorous giant panda still has the digestive system of a carnivore, as well as carnivore-specific genes. The strong forelimbs are used to catch prey, to excavate dens, to dig out burrowing animals, to turn over rocks and logs to locate prey, and to club large creatures. Crazy about roller coasters? SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Yellowstone is home to two species of bears: grizzly bears and black bears. [26] The sloth bear is a modern survivor of one of the earliest lineages to diverge during this radiation event (5.3 Mya); it took on its peculiar morphology, related to its diet of termites and ants, no later than by the early Pleistocene. The Kodiak bear is the largest living land carnivore and may attain a length of more than 3 metres and a weight of 780 kg. Sows weigh about 150 to 250 kg (331-551 lb.) [57], The most widespread species is the brown bear, which occurs from Western Europe eastwards through Asia to the western areas of North America. Black Bear Physical Appearance, Coat Color Confusion Many are confused because the American black bear, Ursus americanus is often not actually black in color! Members of the living lineages of bears diverged from Ursavus between 15 and 20 Mya,[24][25] likely via the species Ursavus elmensis. Dominance between bears is asserted by making a frontal orientation, showing the canine teeth, muzzle twisting and neck stretching.