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More Information Concerning Bears

Aug 17, 2007
Brown bears are technically carnivores, but in practice most of their diet consists of plant matter such as sedges, grasses, bulbs, seeds, berries, and roots. They will also eat insects, fish, and small mammals. Some of these bears have even developed predatory practices on large animals, including moose, caribou, and elk.

The polar bear is a mighty hunter of seals. The most carnivorous of the bears, it is also the most patient. They will sit near a seal blow-hole for hours, waiting, until the animal surfaces. When it does, it is all over for the seal. One powerful blow from a forepaw brings a swift meal for the bear and a swifter death for the seal.

The conditions of the polar north are harsh, with temperatures well below freezing almost constantly. In order to survive, the polar bear has to be an expert survivalist, able to cope with the grueling conditions of his environment. Like a giant solar panel, the skin of the bear is black to draw every bit of possible heat from the sunlight. The hairs if the pelt appear to be white, but are actually transluscent and transmit the light down to the skin. Below these hairs are "underhairs" of orange or yellow.

Like those of other bears, the ears of the polar bear are round. They are, however, smaller and closer to the head. This, along with the overall shape of the animal help to make it a formidable swimmer. The paws are large, and slightly webbed, which also contribute to the bear's abilities as a swimmer.

There is a great degree of sexual dimorphism among the bears as well. The males are huge, the heaviest of them weighing as much as 1300 pounds. The females are smaller, the largest of them being only about 600 pounds.

The boars do not generally hibernate, but remain active for most of the year. The pregnant females are the exception to this, however. They go through a denning and hibernation period, just like that of the black, brown, and other bears.

Polar bears are more agressive than other bears. Even in captivity.

The asiatic black bear has many similarities to its American cousin. Both are medium sized, and black. The ears of the asiatic bear are large and seem inappropriately sized to the rest of its head and those of other bears. These bears have a white patch of fur on their chest, which is often shaped like a V, with some varying amount of white on their chin as well. Occasionally, they can be found in a brown color phase.

The asiatic black bears are not as widely studied as the other bears, so very little information is available about their relative size and other statistics. Generally, they have been found to be 50-75 inches in length. The males usually weigh from 220-440 pounds, and the females from 110-275 pounds.

These bears can be found throughout Southern Asia. They are known in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sikkim, Northern India, Bhutan, and into Burma. They can also be found in Northeast China, and Southeast Russia, Taiwan, and the Japaneese islands of Honshu and Shikoku. Mostly, these bears live in forested areas, especially hilly and mountainous places. The preferred elevations change seasonally. In summer, asiatic black bears have been spotted at over 9,900 feet--moving to lower elevations as the cold of winter comes on. In the northern parts of their range, they den for winter. Current thinking is that the bears in the southern reaches do not hibernate.

The diet of the asiatic black bear is quite diverse. They eat carrion, bee's nests, insects, invertibrates, small vertibrates, and fruit. They have been known to kill domestic livestock, but to what degree they exhibit this predation is not known. They are also known to make daybeds and feeding platforms in nut-bearing trees
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Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of http://bears.about-animals.info A website that specializes in providing information on bears that you can research on the internet at your own pace.
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