Bear Facts

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Bear Facts

Bears are large mammals that eat mainly meat, with the exception of pandas, which are herbivores and live exclusively on bamboo. The following list contains some basic facts about bears.

  • Bears are large mammals that eat mainly meat and fish. Many bears also eat plants, onions and insects.
  • The polar bear eats mainly meat and is classified as a carnivore, while the panda is almost exclusively fed by bamboo and classified as an herbivore. The six other bear species eat both plants and animals and are considered omnivores.
  • There are only eight living bear species that occur all over the world.
  • Bears have large bodies, stocky legs, a long snout, shaggy hair, paws with claws and a short tail.
  • Although bears are big and heavy, they can run very fast and are also good at climbing and swimming.
  • Bears have a big brain and are one of the smarter mammals.
  • Bears sleep long in winter, similar to hibernation. They will sleep in their caves, and a bear mother will also have their cubs in a cave.
  • Bear cubs are born in litters of 1 to 3 years and usually stay with their mother for about 3 years. Most bears live alone, except when a female has a boy. A bear mother will vigorously defend her boys when threatened.
  • Polar bears and grizzly bears can be dangerous to humans, especially if they share a common habitat. Most bears, however, are shy and easily afraid of humans.
  • Laws have been passed in many parts of the world to protect bears from hunters and the destruction of their habitat. Photo by Marina Cano
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