Bear – mighty beast
Bears are large, powerful mammals related to dogs and raccoons. There are several species of bear. They are the polar bear, the brown bear, the black bear, the Asiatic black bear, the sun bear, the spectacled bear, and the sloth bear. Bears live in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Arctic. They first appear in the fossil record of about 27 million years ago.
The Kodiak bear is the largest bear. It may weigh 780 kilograms.
The grizzly bear, a subspecies of the brown bear, is one of the largest land mammals in North America. An average male grizzly has a head and body length of 1.8 to 2.4 meters and may weigh up to 360 kilograms. They are omnivores (eat both plants and animals). They also eat ants and other insects.
They enter their dens in October or November and hibernate for five or six months. A female grizzly gives birth during hibernation to one to three cubs and nurses them for up to one year. The cubs remain with their mother for two to three additional years. The average life span of a grizzly bear is 15 to 20 years.
The sun bear is the smallest member of the bear family. It has an average head and body length of 1 to 1.4 meters and weighs between 27 and 64 kilograms. Their fur is very short and black and the fur on the muzzle is almost white. The sun bear’s diet includes termites and other insects, fruits, birds, small mammals, and honey. They do not hibernate, and they can mate at any time during the year. A female gives birth to one or two cubs.
Polar bears are huge marine bears that are well adapted to life in and around the icy Arctic Ocean. The polar bear has fur on the bottom of its feet. This fur helps the bear to keep from slipping on ice. Their white fur helps it blend in with the Arctic ice and snow. Their skin is black and sunlight that gets through its fur is absorbed by the black skin, helping to keep the animal warm. Polar bears are usually solitary animals, coming together only to mate in late spring. The cubs stay with their mother for at least two years. Polar bears live to be 20 or more years old.
The American black bear occurs across most of North America, from Alaska to Newfoundland, and south into Mexico.
The Asiatic black bear is a black-colored animal with a white crescent on its chest; an alternative name is moon bear. A male may weigh up to 159 kg, while females usually weigh less than 91 kg. They live in Afghanistan, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. It is generally nocturnal.
The sloth bear of India and other countries in South Asia has the longest hair in the bear family, although its belly is almost hairless. It carries its young on its back, and the male remains with the female to help raise the cubs.
The spectacled or Andean bear is the only species in South America. It has a whitish, eyeglasses-shaped pattern around its eyes. It climbs trees well and may sleep in them.
Bear is a symbol of good nature and fury, heroic strength and awkwardness, laziness and tender maternal feelings, gluttony and asceticism. It is a sign of the soldiers in Northern Europe and Asia.
Bear can often be seen in heraldry, symbolizing the same qualities as the lion: courage and greatness.
Bear – mighty beast
Finnish bear Juuso became a famous painter and now it has own site – www.karhutv.fi/Art_from_Juuso/art_from_juuso