There are three kinds of bears. They are struggling to survive on Earth at present. The three kinds of bears are black bears, brown bears, and polar bears. Bears are the largest meat-eating animals. But they prefer to eat plant materials. Although bears have a poor eyesight and hearing. They find their food by using their highly sense of smell.
Bears have sharp claws and strong teeth. Their claws help them to dig climb and their strong teeth can tear meat and grind plant. They move a great deal to find food.
Living in the winter
Winter is a very harsh season for bears. During the season Blizzards can occur and the ground is deep with snow. Some of these bears survive by making underground dens and drifting into winter sleep. They sleep for long periods if they are not disturbed.
Bears that sleep through the winter are said to hibernate. The body temperature of these animals heart rates fall, and their breathing slows. Although bears are not true hibernators their bodies don’t need to eliminate waste. They consume the equivalent of 42 hamburgers per day to fatten themselves up before going to their dens.
Mating and Mothering
In late spring or early summer female and male bears come together for a short time to mate. After mating the males do nothing with rearing the cubs and wander off. Most females can give birth only eight to ten cubs during their lifetime. When the bears are in their best condition they breed because the female (Sow) nurses her cubs in den during the long winter.
Mother bears are ferocious protectors of their own cubs and fight against anything that threatens them. Cubs learn how to find their way around their territory and find a den for the winter.
The Brown Bear
The brown bear’s body is heavy, stout, and strong. It has strong legs. Its head is large. It has small rounded ears and there is a distinctive hump on the shoulders. Its long claws on the front paws are used for digging.
Habitat and Range
Brown bears live in more areas of the world than any other species of bear. They can be found in Europe, across Nothern Asia, and in Japan. In North America the largest numbers can be seen in western Canada and Alaska. Smaller populations live in Wyoming Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The largest brown bears can be found on the west coast of British Colombia and in Alaska.
Normally Brown bears roam a wide range of habitats including open meadows and mountain areas. Large amounts of space is need for the bears for a comfortable home range. Brown bears usually sleep on the ground, in a bed of grass or conifer needles. They rarely climb trees because they are so large and their claws are curved and long.
Diet and Food Sources
Brown bears eat plants and animals. Their main diet is plant materials such as berries, nuts, grasses, sedges, bulbs, and roots. They also eat ants, other insects fish, and small mammals. They prey on large, hoofed mammals such as moose,caribon, and elk. In some areas, they eat decaying animal carcasses too. Each day during the summer and autumn they eat up to 40 kilograms of foods.
Female brown bears beg into breed between four and ten years of age. Their mating occurs during the summer and gives birth in the winter. Normally there are two cubs, but the litter size range from one to four. When we compare the bears with other mammals, such as humans, brown bear cubs are tiny. They are about 400 times smaller their mothers. Newborn humans are only about 20 times smaller than their mothers. The tiny cubs can grow very quickly. Their mother’s milk is very rich with a fat content five times higher than that of human milk.
The cubs remain with their mothers for at least one and a half years. During this time, they learn the skills they need to survive. Life is full of hazards for young bears, and nearly half the cubs born will die during their first year of life.
The American Black Bear
Black bear’s claws are strong and curved. Their claws help them to be excellent agile Climbers. Their faces are slightly rounded when seen from the side. Many have a paler-colored muzzle. They are smaller than brown bears.
Habit and Range
Black Bears can be found throughout the forest areas of North America. They are found in 32 states of the united states. Most of the provinces and territories of Canada and in North Mexico.
Black bears are well adapted to forested areas. They live in both moist and dry areas and can be found at both sea level and in the mountains. It is thought that they avoid open habitats become of the risk of becoming prey to brown bears.
American black bears usually sleep stretched out in trees, When they sleep on the ground they look for grassy areas or areas covered with conifer needles.
Diet and Food Sources
The food of the black bears are berries, acorns, nuts, grasses, roots, and other plants materials. They eat vegetable matter most but black bears are not strict vegetarians. They eat small mammals and insects like ants, honey and decaying animal carcasses. They eat deer fawns and moose calves.
When Female bears are between three and eight years of age they begin mating. Males start to mate in late spring in warmer climates but is usually later in the colder northern areas. The cubs are normally born in a den in winter. Normally up to four cubs may be born, but two is the average. Although the cubs are weaned at six to eight months. They normally remain with their mothers for one and a half years.
The Polar Bear
The polar bear has a smaller head and a longer neck than other species of bears. Small suction cups on the soles of the feet and long hairs between the pads make polar bears less likely to slip on the ice.
Habitat and Range
Polar bears are seen in Arctic region. Polar bears need vast amount of space for their home range because they have to compete for food resources. Much of the polar north contains little in the any of plants and animals. There is not much to eat.
Polar bears like most the sea-ice habitat that joins the shorelines of the mainland and islands throughout the Arctic Circle when wind and currents create cracks in the ice, the seals they hunt are stranded together in large numbers.
Normally polar bears dig ‘dens’ or pits in the snow or ice which are often lined with moss and lichens.
Female bears like higher areas that allow them to see the approach of any possible dangers to their cubs.
Polar bears spend much of their time in the water while they move easily over the ice and webbing between the toes. They are used like paddles for swimming.
Diet and Food Sources
Polar bears are mainly meat eaters, unlike brown and black bears. When there are no seals they prey on young walruses and occasionally narwhals, beluga whale, sea birds, and small mammals.
If the polar bears are along the coast, polar bears eat grass, kelp, or berries. They also scavenge on the carcasses of land or sea mammals and human garbage.
When the female bears are about five years old they begin to mate. Most male bears are eight to ten years of age before they successfully mate, mating occurs on the sea-ice in spring. The female bears then make dens and wait for the winter birth.
Normally females breed once in every three years. This means that only a third of all females available for breeding each year. Male bears often fight among themselves until the strongest chases the other away and is able to mate with a female.
Bears Under Threats
The actions of the people have greatly affected decreasing the numbers of these three kinds of bears. Hunting and human settlement have had a severe effect.
The American brown bears once ranged over much of western North America.From Alaska to Mexico. Now it is limited to the north western regions where it is protected in national parks.
The American black bears can be introduced as the most common North American bears, but its home range has been greatly reduced.
National parks and wildlife refugs have been set up to protect many kinds of animals including bears. These great animals need our protection to survive.