Bear Mammal of the family Ursidae of the order, Carnivora , found almost exclusively in the northern hemisphere. its feet are plantigrade, the claws non retractable. The body appears clumsy, although some bears can run at speeds of 25 or 30 mi. per hour. Except for the heavy Grizzly bear, most climb trees.
Bears are omnivorous, living generally on fruits, roots, and other vegetable matter, honey, insects, fish, carrion, and frequently on animals; unless wounded or startled they rarely attack man .
Where the winters are cold they hibernate in a sheltered spots or caves . The young, usually twins, are born during the winter in an undeveloped state . The brown bear out of the old world is extinct in much of western Europe , but small numbers survive in some wooded sections of the continent , and larger numbers in Russia and northern Asia. Closely related to the old world Brown bear the grizzly bears and of West North America and also the Alaskan brown bears.
In the United States the the grizzly bear has been almost exterminated except where it is protected in national parks. The coat of the of various species ranges from shades of brown to black fish gray, often with gray tipped hairs. They usually weigh from 300 to 1,000 lbs.. An Alaskan brown bear known as the Kodiak or Kodiak bear is the largest living carnivore , sometimes weighing 1,500 lbs. or more.
The commonest bear in North America is the black bear found in wooded and mountainous regions from parts of Canada to Mexico City. It 200 to 300 lbs. and has a smaller, more pointed head than the grizzly and shorter, more curved claws; it is taller at the haunches than at the shoulder, while the grizzly has its greatest body height at the shoulder.
Among the races of the Black bear are the Cinnamon bear, the White Kermode's bear , and the glacier or blue bear . The Polar bear of the Arctic has a thick white or creamy coat black tongue, and relatively small head and long neck. It is a strong swimmer, and its hairy souls facilitate walking on ice. It is believed to the that polar bears remained active throughout the year, except for the pregnant females, which seek winter burrows in the ice and drifted snow in which the cubs are born.
In South America the only known there is the speckled bear of the Andes . The Atlas bear , the only African bear may be extinct. Among the related asiatic animals on the Himalayan or Tibetan black bear, the Malay or sun bear, and the sloth bear.
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