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Bears (lat.Ursclassae) are a family of mammals of the order of carnivores. They differ from other representatives of the psiformes in a more stocky constitution. Bears are omnivorous, climb and swim well, run fast, can stand and walk short distances on their hind legs.

They have a short tail, long and thick hair, and excellent sense of smell and hearing. They hunt in the evening or at dawn. Usually afraid of humans, but can be dangerous in places where they are accustomed to humans, especially polar and grizzly bears. Immune to bee stings. In nature, they have almost no natural enemies.

Bears appeared more than ten million years ago - in the Middle Miocene. The sizes of modern bear species vary greatly, but they are all similar in appearance. You can't confuse it with other animals!

Bears have strong jaws with huge fangs. There are claws on the paws. Most bears are omnivores. But there are picky ones. For example, a polar bear eats seals, and a sloth bear loves to feast on ants. The family of bears nowadays includes only 7 species. The distribution zone is the whole of Eurasia, the Arctic, as well as America. The 3 species of bears - spectacled, sloth and Malay - have such different characteristics that all three belong to different genera.

Bear myths

The smallest adult bear weighs approximately 50 kilograms. This is a Malay bear. With such a weight, how can you call it small?

The largest bear can weigh up to a ton. This is a large predator - a polar bear.

The panda belongs to the bear family. For the time being, it was considered so. But the studies carried out on this matter gave all the grounds for separating pandas into an independent family. The similarities between pandas and bears are only superficial.

The brown bear is best known. Various peoples made him a character in their fairy tales and legends. The brown bear has a fairly high level of intelligence, which is why his performances are often included in the circus program. It is known that among other wild animals, bear psychology is closest to human. On average, this bear weighs three hundred kilograms. However, there are both smaller individuals (weighing from 80 kilograms) and larger representatives (weighing up to 800 kilograms). The body length of brown bears is usually about 2.5 meters. It got its name from the brown color of the fur.

There are many differences between representatives of brown bears. Once they were even divided into a large number of independent species. But now all varieties of brown bear form one species.

The brown bear is the master of the taiga. Representatives of this species have inhabited the entire forest zone of Eurasia and North America. The most beloved place of the brown bear's life is the old forest with its streams and rivers. For most regions of the Russian Federation, living in the forests of brown bears is considered common.

Brown bears are saddled. Unlike whites. Behind each beast there is a certain piece of land. Within its limits there are special places in which the bear takes refuge, feeds, and lays in a den. It is easy to spot bear trails here - the paths of the most frequent movement of bears.

The brown bear is clumsy. But only in appearance. With the speed of movement, everything is normal for them - brown bears run fast - they develop speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour.

The main nutritional base of the brown bear is vegetable food. It can be a variety of fruits, plant rhizomes, juicy greens. To diversify their diet, representatives of this species hunt fish, eat insects. And in the springtime, deer, elk and wild boars can become the object of his hunt. It happens that a brown bear with amazing patience sits at the holes of marmots and ground squirrels, waiting for their appearance.

The brown bear hibernates. It lasts 75 to 195 days a year. They sleep in dens, which they set up under fallen trees. Before going into hibernation, brown bears must accumulate enough fat. There are times when brown bears cannot sleep. Then they wander through the taiga - stagger - hence their second name - crank bears.

A brown bear can gnaw a female together with cubs. May-June is the rutting time for bears. When two males compete with each other, it often turns into a fight. But here's what's interesting: after the rut, the male no longer wants to know the female. Having met her with the kids, she can bite them.

The brown bear is listed in the Red Book. Its status in this book is: "Endangered Species". According to rough estimates, the number of all brown bears is about 200 thousand individuals, most of which live in Russia.

Compared to the weight of adults, cubs are born completely crumbs. Their body weight is only half a kilogram. They are born blind (they see only after a month) and deaf. For three years, the cubs live next to their mother, who takes care of them.

The older cubs help care for the younger ones. Usually a bear gives birth to offspring every two years. Older cubs (mostly sisters) often look after younger ones.

The grizzly bear is one of the varieties of the brown bear. Grizzlies have settled in North America. It has a lighter color, which also has a gray tint. Vegetable food for him faded into the background. The main source of food is hunting for hoofed animals and fishing. The largest subspecies of grizzly bears lives on the island of Kodiak near Alaska - some individuals weigh seven hundred kilograms.

The black bear (baribal) is one of the most numerous species in the world. He settled the forests of Canada and the United States. The weight of these bears reaches 150 kilograms. The black bear is omnivorous. Its diet includes fruits and leaves of plants, insects, and sometimes small vertebrates. The cubs of this bear are born in a den, their weight barely reaches three hundred grams. The number of pups varies from one to four. With the arrival of spring, the bear leaves the den with the babies. After about a year, the cubs are separated from the mother. Moreover, young females live in the mother's territory. And young males are forced to look for another place for themselves. It is known that only 15% of young males survive and reach sexual maturity.

The polar bear has several names. The first is polar, because it lives very close to the North Pole. The second is the sea one, as this bear swims well.

Polar bears have white fur. Somewhat erroneous judgment. The fur itself is colorless, formed by many colorless tubes. It's just that the inner surface of these tubes is uneven, so it crushes the light, reflecting it at all possible angles - hence the feeling of white.

The polar bear species was formed relatively recently. Paleontologists date the appearance of polar bears to 250 thousand years ago.

The polar bear descended from the same ancestor as the brown one. Only the polar bear has adapted to life in the harsh conditions among the ice. The population of polar bears is not numerous, therefore this species is included in the Red Book.

The polar bear distribution zone is limited to the Arctic. He inhabited the territory up to 88 degrees north latitude, most often he lives between ice floes and icebergs. Individual individuals can be seen more than a hundred kilometers from land. Polar bears swim well, without rest they can swim up to sixty miles without rest.

The polar bear is a predator. He specializes in predation. It hunts bearded seals, ringed seals and even walruses. You can't deny him patience! A polar bear can stay at the breathing holes of seals for a long time and, when they appear, attack them. But the time is worth it. After all, seal fat and its skin are the polar bears' favorite food. Interestingly, a polar bear can eat in just one hour an amount of food equal to 10% of the bear's body weight.

The polar bear often roams. Indeed, he makes seasonal migrations, which are very long in time.

Polar bear pregnancy lasts up to 250 days. Interestingly, the rut in polar bears occurs in the first months of spring, and the fertilized ovum "waits" for the bear to land on land (this happens in autumn) - until that moment its development stops.

Polar bears have maternity hospitals. Childbirth takes place in strictly defined places - here polar bears build dens in the snow. Babies (weighing up to 800 grams) are born between January and April.

Polar bears have relatively short hibernation. On average, two months. Yes, and hibernation, then it can be called a stretch. Polar bears do not fall into complete torpor, bears can wake up, watch what is happening in the den, lick their babies.

Polar bears are sociable. They can often be found playing, they are friendly to each other. Polar bears do not form communities.

The Himalayan bear (aka white-breasted and Ussuri) is relatively small. Males weigh, on average, 130 kilograms, females - 70 kilograms. These bears have noticeable wide and long ears. The Himalayan bear received one of the names due to the presence of a light spot on the chest. The rest of the fur is black and slightly shiny. In Russia, these bears live in the Far East, willingly settle in river valleys.

The Himalayan bear makes "bear nests". These are the creases of the branches that remain after these bears climb trees. Here they find fruit. Acorns, pine nuts, bird cherry fruits, as well as plant stems are eaten. Sometimes he adds various insects to his diet.

Himalayan bears have a lot to do with trees. In addition to eating their fruits, they arrange shelters in hollows, use the crown of trees to protect cubs. In case of danger, the female drives her cubs up, and she herself drives away the attention of the enemy from them a little further.

The Malay bear has the same white chest mark as the Himalayan bear. The Malay bear lives in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. He has a smooth coat, on the chest - a light spot. This bear is omnivorous: its diet includes both plant foods (fruits and leaves) and animals (insects, reptiles, as well as small mammals and birds).

Sloth bear is almost 2 times larger than Malay. Yes, and it is covered with thicker and longer hair. Lives in the tropics of India and Ceylon. His favorite food is insects, ants and termites. He does not refuse to fall, and eats plant foods. This bear's lips have the ability to stretch out like a tube, so it is more convenient for him to "hunt" ants. It is because of this feature that the bear got its name - sloth. A bear with cubs (usually one or two of them) live together for two or three years.

The spectacled bear is the only member of the family that lives in South America. It got its name from the white circles around the eyes. This is a very shaggy bear. The body weight of a male can be up to 140 kilograms. Spectacled bear is found mainly in mountain forests. The main food is vegetable.

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