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,
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
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
Polar bears are more agressive than other bears. Even
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
About the Author:
Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of http://bears.about-animals.info
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