Bears are Fun!!!
Bears are members of the family Ursidae. There are only eight species of bear living today. Bears inhabit a broad geographic area of the world, from the tropics of the Americas and Asia to the arctic. Bears once occupied Africa. The Atlas bear (Ursus arctos crowtheri), a subspecies of the brown bear, was Africa’s only native bear that survived up until the 19th century. The Atlas bear once inhabited the Atlas Mountains and neighboring areas, from Morocco to Libya, but the Atlas bear is now believed to be extinct. However, bears have never reached the continents of Australia or Antarctica. Bears are now absent from the continents of Africa, Australia and Antarctica. The brown bear and polar bear both have ranges that extend into North America, Europe and Asia. The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is endemic to North America, the Andean (spectacled) bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is endemic to South America, and the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and giant panda bear (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are all endemic to Asia.
The Eight Living Species of Bear
Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus)
Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) – includes Grizzly Bear
Giant Panda Bear (Ailuropoda melanoluca)
North American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus)
Bears are part of the order Carnivora (which in Latin means “meat-eater”). While most present-day carnivorans are meat-eaters, most bears are actually omnivorous. The Panda Bear’s diet is primarily bamboo. The other six species of bear eat a variety of items, including other mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, insects, berries, roots and other plants. In the wild, the Polar Bear’s diet is primarily meat, although they have also been known to eat berries and from human’s trash cans.
Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears