Tag: Bears

Bears are carnivoran mammals. Presently, there are only eight species of bears that are extant (still living). There are about 7 (modern) extinct species of bears and many others that have been discovered through scientific research of remains. Bears inhabit a variety of areas mostly in the Nothern Hemisphere. For example, bears are found on the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Modern bears have large bodies and stocky legs. They have long snouts, small rounded ears, and short tails. The polar bear is the largest bear species in existence today and is mostly carnivorous. Other species, like the giant panda, mostly feed on plants (in this case bamboo). The remaining species are omnivorous and readily eat what is available in their surroundings (plant or animal).

Bears usually prefer to be by themselves outside of the mating season. They can ve nocturnal or diurnal. Bears have an excellent sense of smell, are capable runners, swimmers, and some are even adept at climbing. Bears use caves and logs as dens and most species use their dens during winter for hibernation purposes.

Bear Classifications

Family:  Ursidae Extent / Latin Name
Subfamily:  Amphicynodontinae †
      Genus:  Parictis † 38 mya. (million years ago)
                   Parictis bathygenus † Parictis bathygenus
                   Parictis dakotensis † Parictis dakotensis
                   Parictis gilpini † Parictis gilpini
                   Parictis major † Parictis major
                   Parictis montanus † Parictis montanus
                   Parictis parvus † Parictis parvus
                   Parictis personi † Parictis personi
                   Parictis primaevus † Parictis primaevus
      Genus:  Allocyon † 28.5-29.5 mya.
                   Allocyon loganensis † Allocyon loganensis
      Genus:  Kolponomos † 20 mya.
                   Kolponomos clallamensis † Kolponomos clallamensis
                   Kolponomos newportensis † Kolponomos newportensis
Subfamily:  Hemicyoninae †
      Genus:  Ursavus † 22 mya.
                   Ursavus brevirhinus † Ursavus brevirhinus
                   Ursavus depereti † Ursavus depereti
                   Ursavus ehrenbergi † Ursavus ehrenbergi
                   The Dawn Bear † Ursavus elmensis
                   Ursavus intermedius † Ursavus intermedius
                   Ursavus isorei † Ursavus isorei
                   Ursavus pawniensis † Ursavus pawniensis
                   Ursavus primaevus † Ursavus primaevus
                   Ursavus sylvestris † Ursavus sylvestris
Subfamily:  Agriotheriinae †
      Genus:  Indarctos † 11.1 – 5.3 mya.
                   Indarctos arctoides † Indarctos arctoides
                   Indarctos atticus † Indarctos atticus
                     Indarctos atticus anthracitis † Indarctos atticus anthracitis (subspecies)
                     Indarctos atticus bakalovi † Indarctos atticus bakalovi (subspecies)
                     Indarctos atticus lagrelii † Indarctos atticus lagrelii (subspecies)
                     Indarctos atticus punjabiensis † Indarctos atticus punjabiensis (subspecies)
                   Indarctos oregonensis † Indarctos oregonensis
                   Indarctos salmontanus † Indarctos salmontanus
                   Indarctos sinensis † Indarctos sinensis
                   Indarctos vireti † Indarctos vireti
                   Indarctos zdanskyi † Indarctos zdanskyi
      Genus:  Agriotherium † 9-2 mya.
                   Agriotherium africanum † Agriotherium africanum
                   Agriotherium inexpectans † Agriotherium inexpectans
                   Agriotherium roblesi † Agriotherium roblesi
                   Agriotherium schneideri † Agriotherium schneideri
                   Agriotherium sivalensis † Agriotherium sivalensis
Subfamily:   Ailuropodinae 20 mya.
      Genus:   Agriarctos †
      Genus:   Ailurarctos † 8 mya.
                    Primal Panda  Ailurarctos lufengensis
                    Ailurarctos yuanmouensis † Ailurarctos yuanmouensis
      Genus:   Ailuropoda 3-2 mya.
                    Pygmy Giant Panda  Ailuropoda microta
                    Ailuropoda wulingshanensis † Ailuropoda wulingshanensis
                    Ailuropoda baconi † Ailuropoda baconi
                    Dwarf Panda † Ailuropoda minor
                    Giant Panda Bear Ailuropoda melanoleuca
                      Qinling Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca quinlingensis (subspecies)
Subfamily:  Tremarctinae
      Genus:  Plionarctos † 8-7 mya.
                   Plionarctos edensis † Plionarctos edensis
                   Plionarctos harroldorum † Plionarctos harroldorum
                   Plionarctos telonensis † Plionarctos telonensis
      Genus:  Arctodus † 5-2 mya.
                   Brazilian Bear † Arctodus braziliensis
                   Buenos Aires Bear † Arctodus bonariensis
                   Giant Short-Faced Bear † Arctodus simus
                   Pampas Bear † Arctodus pamparus
                   Short-Faced Bear † Arctodus pristinus
      Genus:  Arctotherium †
                   Brazilian Short-Faced Bear † Arctotherium brasilense
                   Argentine Short-Faced Bear † Arctotherium latidens
                   Arctotherium enectum † Arctotherium (Pararctotherium) enectum
                   Arctotherium brasiliensis † Arctotherium (Pararctotherium) brasiliensis
                   Arctotherium pamparum † Arctotherium (Pararctotherium) pamparum
      Genus:  Tremarctos 2.5 mya.
                   Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus
                   Florida Cave Bear  Tremarctos floridanus
Subfamily:  Ursinae
       Genus: Ursus 4 – 5 mya.
                    Auvergne Bear † Ursus minimus
                       Ursus minimus minimus † Ursus minimus minimus (subspecies)
                       Ursus minimus boeckhi † Ursus minimus boeckhi (subspecies)
                    Ursus abstrusus † Ursus abstrusus
                    Etruscan Bear † Ursus etruscus
                       Ursus etruscus etruscus † Ursus etruscus etruscus (subspecies)
                       Ursus etruscus ruscinensis † Ursus etruscus ruscinensis (subspecies)
                       Ursus etruscus arvernensis † Ursus etruscus arvernensis (subspecies)
                    European Cave Bear † Ursus spelaeus (300,000 years ago)
                    Brown Bear Ursus arctos
                       Alaskan Grizzly Bear Ursus arctos alascensis (subspecies)
                       Eurasian Brown Bear Ursus arctos arctos (subspecies)
                       Kamchatka Brown Bear Ursus arctos beringianus (subspecies)
                       California Golden Bear Ursus arctos californicus (subspecies)
                       Siberian Brown Bear Ursus arctos collaris (subspecies)
                       Atlas Bear † Ursus arctos crowtheri (subspecies)
                       Alaskan Brown Bear † Ursus arctos dalli (subspecies)
                       Peninsula Giant Bear Ursus arctos gyas (subspecies)
                       Grizzly Bear Ursus arctos horribilis (subspecies)
                       Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos isabellinus (subspecies)
                       Amur Brown Bear † Ursus arctos lasiotus (subspecies)
                       Kodiak Bear Ursus arctos middendorffi (subspecies)
                       Mexican Grizzly Bear Ursus arctos nelsoni (subspecies) (invalid)
                       Tibetan Blue Bear Ursus arctos pruinosus (subspecies)
                       Sitka Islands Bear Ursus arctos sitkensis (subspecies)
                       Ursus arctos stikeensis Ursus arctos stikeensis (subspecies)
                       Syrian Brown Bear Ursus arctos syriacus (subspecies)
                    Polar Bear Ursus maritimus
                       Early Polar Bear or Tyrant Sea Bear † Ursus maritimus tyrannus (subspecies)
                       Modern Polar Bear Ursus maritimus maritimus (subspecies)
                    American Black Bear Ursus americanus
                       Olympic Black Bear Ursus americanus altifrontalis (subspecies)
                       New Mexico Black Bear Ursus americanus amblyceps (subspecies)
                       Minnesota Black Bear Ursus americanus americanus (subspecies)
                       California Black Bear Ursus americanus californiensis (subspecies)
                       Queen Charlotte Black Bear Ursus americanus carlottae (subspecies)
                       Cinnamon Bear Ursus americanus cinnamomum (subspecies)
                       Glacier Bear Ursus americanus emmonsii (subspecies)
                       East Mexican Black Bear Ursus americanus eremicus (subspecies)
                       Florida Black Bear Ursus americanus floridanus (subspecies)
                       New Foundland Bear Ursus americanus hamiltoni (subspecies)
                       Kermode Bear Ursus americanus kermodei (subspecies)
                       Louisiana Black Bear Ursus americanus luteolus (subspecies)
                       West Mexico Black Bear Ursus americanus machetes (subspecies)
                       Kenai Black Bear Ursus americanus perniger (subspecies)
                       Dall Black Bear Ursus americanus pugnax (subspecies)
                       Vancouver Black Bear Ursus americanus vancouveri (subspecies)
                    Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus
                       Formosan Black Bear Ursus thibetanus formosanus (subspecies)
                       Baluchistan Black Bear Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus (subspecies)
                       Japanese Black Bear Ursus thibetanus japonicus (subspecies)
                       Himalayan Black Bear Ursus thibetanus laniger (subspecies)
                       Ursus thibetanus mupinensis Ursus thibetanus mupinensis (subspecies)
                       Ursus thibetanus thibetanus Ursus thibetanus thibetanus (subspecies)
                       Manchurian Black Bear Ursus thibetanus ussuricus (subspecies)
       Genus:  Helarctos
                     Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus
                        Borneo Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus euryspilus (subspecies)
       Genus:  Melursus
                    Sloth Bear Melursus urinus
                       Sri Lankan Sloth Bear Melursus urinus inoratus (subspecies)
† – extinct

8 Species of Bears

  1. American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) – (Read here for more information on lower classifications/subspecies).
  2. Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus)
  3. Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) – (Read here for more information on lower classifications/subspecies).
  4. Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)
  5. Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus)
  6. Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus)
  7. Giant Panda Bear (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
  8. Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus)

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