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Bears can be found all over the world. They are usually large animals and are characterized by plantigrade walk (on their heels, like people), a large body, short legs, tail caps, small round ears, and forward facing eyes.

All bears are classified as carnivores, with each species having a different degree of herbivorous tendencies. Panda, for example, is almost exclusively a plant eater. The polar bear is almost entirely a predator.

Black Bear

The black bear managed to be very prolific and successful as the bears go. Eighteen known subspecies can be found throughout the United States and Canada. Estimates of the number of black bears in North America vary, with 750,000 being most often suggested. In Pennsylvania, there are believed to be more than 7,000 animals scattered throughout the state.

Despite its name, black bears can appear in different colors. There are brown, black bears, white, black bears, and even a blue glacier bear.

Expert estimates of the weights of bears also seem to differ from each other. Conservative measurements put the average weight of the animals at about 300 pounds. However, the degree of sexual dimorphism exhibited by species makes accurate accounts difficult. The biggest black bear recorded was a man shot in Wisconsin in 1885, the bear was 802 pounds, much heavier than expected.

They have a wide range of diets. They can eat almost everything. Typical bears, they love honey and are responsible for thousands of dollars of damage annually to the apiaries.

A black bear has shorter and more curved pincers than a grizzly. This allows him to have greater maneuverability in climbing trees. Often, sows will encourage her cubs to tree themselves while there is a danger. Black bears have a characteristic way of climbing and descending through the trees. Most often they use their front paws for lifting and maintaining the hold.

Brown Bear

The brown bear has captured human consciousness, as almost no other animal can. It is portrayed so like ourselves, that we often get bogged down in “wit” and forget that this is a wild animal that we are dealing with. The brown bear is often seen as a cozy buffoon of animation, and “Teddy” bear of children and collectors alike. In fact, the brown bear is complex and charming animals deserve great respect.

Brown bears are technically carnivorous, but in practice, most of their diet consists of plant substances, such as sedges, grasses, bulbs, seeds, fruits and roots. They also eat insects, fish, and small mammals. Some of these bears even developed predatory practices in large animals, including moose, deer, and elk.

Polar Bear

The Polar bear is a mighty seal hunter. The most carnivorous bears, this is also the most patient. They will sit close to the seal punch hole for several hours without waiting until the surface of the animals. When this happens, it’s all over the seal. A powerful blow from the front paw brings a fast meal to the bear and faster death for the seal.

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Polar bears are more aggressive than other bears. Even in captivity.

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