Bears are giant animals found throughout forests and Tundra. They are respected as well as feared by the people. Everyone is fascinated and wishes to see bears, and we generally find them in zoos. Bears are extremely adaptable creatures that live all over the world. From the freezing Arctic sheets to the lush North American forests, to South American mountain ranges to all of Europe and Asia. We will discuss some of the different types of bears in the world.
All bear species are opportunistic feeders and are content to use their great climbing and swimming skills to hunt, fish, and scavenge for food wherever they go because of the wide variety of terrain they inhabit. Bears tend to live alone, with the exception of mothers and their young. They have short tails, non-retractable claws, and a keen sense of smell. Although there are just eight major bear species that are still alive today, bears have a large number of subspecies. Here is the list of 15 types of bears in the world,
Different Types of Bears In The World
1. Brown bear
The brown bear is one of the types of bears that are as tall as 48 to 83 inches and weighs 100 to 355 kg. It is largely brown, black, and white and found in caves, mountains, forests, and woods of Russia, Spain, Italy, Austria, Northern Eurasia, and France. It has a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years. Generally, it has a round head and small rounded ears. Overall it is a giant and powerful bear with big paws and claws. The brown bear is an omnivore animal feeding on berries, fruits, plants, deer, fish, sheep, grasses, and nuts.
Image Source: Wikipedia
2. Polar bear
A polar bear is one of the types of bears that can grow as long as 5 to 10 feet and weighs 330 to 1500 lb. It is white to yellowish and found in Tundra and areas around Arctic Circle in Greenland, and Hudson Bay. It has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years. The polar bear is an apex predator among all bears as its face is longer and narrower than normal bears. It has short ears and short tails and a double layer of fur helps it to keep warm in snow-covered areas. Polar bear nourishes seals, birds, etc.
The majority of a polar bear’s life may be spent on the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice. These animals that live in tundra region search for seals, their main prey, in this hostile environment, using their excellent swimming abilities, razor-sharp claws, and gorgeous white fur to approach breathing holes before sitting, waiting, and seizing their poor unwitting victim. From a mile distance, they can smell a seal that is hidden by three feet of snow.
The largest bears in the world are polar bears. Although it is a subspecies of the brown bear, it has changed over time to fit its current habitat and surroundings. Their thick fur and fat also help them stay warm and buoyant in the icy, frigid water while providing excellent camouflage against the surrounding ice and snow. Millions of years ago, brown bears evolved into polar bears. This is due to ongoing habitat loss induced by climate change.
3. Sun bear
Sun bear is also one of the types of bears in the world that grows as tall as 5 feet and weighs 27 to 68 kg. It is found in Tropical forests and lowlands of Southern China, Indonesia, and Eastern India. It has a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years. it is one of the smallest species of bear and is dark black to grayish-black in color. It is identified by a horseshoe that is present on the chest and is golden or orange. The thick layer of black fur serves as a protective cover in harsh conditions. It is also an omnivore bear and consumes both plants and animals like fruits, seeds, insects, bees, termites, etc.
Sun bears are primarily found in tropical evergreen forests. They can be found in the northeastern region of India to the north and continue south to southeast through continental Asia to Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia via Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. This specie of bear is relatively uncommon.
These bears are the smallest of the eight species discovered, with short, smooth fur that is normally black but can be reddish-brown or grey. The characteristic breast patch, which can be orange, yellow, or white, is another distinguishing trait that might aid in the identification of a sun bear in the wild. Sun bears are omnivores that eat ants, termites, bee larvae, beetle larvae, honey, and a variety of fruits, particularly figs. They have the longest tongue of any bear species, which aids in their feeding on termites and ants.
Also read: Top 10 Endangered Animals In The World 2022
Image Source: Tambako The Jaguar
3. Sloth bear
Sloth bear can grow as long as 5 to 6 feet and weighs around 200-300 lb. It is found in tropical grasslands and forests of India and Sri Lanka and has a life expectancy of about 20-40 years. Sometimes, sloth bears defend themselves from tigers in tricky situations. It has a thick black fur coat to protect it from insects. It has wide nostrils, and elongated snouts and the chest has a y or v-shaped white patch. It has a relatively large and movable tongue to eat its prey. Though aggressive, it is a cute and adorable bear. It feeds on termites, ants, grubs, beetles, fruits, flowers, honey, and insects.
Sloth Bears are indigenous to the Indian Subcontinent, and there are two subspecies: Shilankan Sloth Bear and Indian Sloth Bear. Its fur is completely black with the exception of a pale spot on its breast, which is sometimes absent in Sri Lankan specimens. They consume fruits, ants, and termites as food. It is also known as the ‘labiated bear’ because of its long, thick nose and lack of upper incisors, allowing it to suck food from a considerable distance away.
Sloth bears are nocturnal and live in home ranges that they appear to like sharing with other sloth bears. Male sloth bears have a range of 13 square kilometers on average. This is substantially smaller than most other bears, most likely because they do not face seasonal food supply swings. Sloth bears breed in the spring and early summer and give birth in the early winter.
Image Source: Wikimedia
4. North American Black bear
American Black Bear is one of the types of bears that can grow as tall as 60 to 84 inches and weigh 40 to 299 kg. it is found in the woods and rainforests of Alaska, British Columbia, Northern America, and national parks. It is generally black, grey, brown, cinnamon, or white with a life expectancy of 25-30 years. It has a thick, black fur coat, round eyes that are blue, large body with a short tail. Despite its name, it is not necessary that they are black. It looks very cute and adorable from a distance but is dangerous when approached. It has an omnivore diet feeding on roots, leaves, fish, insects, grasses, and plants.
The most common bear in North America is the North American Black Bear. They are found largely in dense woods or inaccessible mountain regions throughout North America, from Florida through Canada and up to Alaska. While black and brown are the most common colors in the North American Black Bear population, blue-black and white are also options.
White bears, on the other hand, are extremely rare, notably in British Columbia, Canada. They are omnivorous and opportunistic, consuming whatever is available and abundant, including roots and berries, insects, and fish, in their 95 percent plant-based diet. Bears hibernate throughout the winter to avoid the brunt of the cold weather and probable food shortages. Male North American Bears achieve their full size and weight of at least 280kg by the age of eight years.
Image Source: ucumari photography
5. Giant panda
The giant panda can grow as tall as 3 to 6 feet and weighs 200 to 300 lb with a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years and is one of the animals affected by deforestation. It has a large black and white body with a white face, black eye patches, ears, legs, and shoulders. It is found in fragmented mountain ranges in central and southern central China. Its black and white markings distinguish it from other bears. Its thick wooly coat keeps it warm in harsh conditions. Its unique body color and round body make it cute and adorable. It is a herbivore animal and usually nourishes leaves, stems, and bamboo.
Pandas are one of the most distinctively shaped, elusive, rare, and endangered bears. They are native to southwest China, where they live in temperate woods high in the mountains. The giant panda is known for its unique black and white coat, rotund physique, and enormous eye patches. At an average height of 5 feet and a tail that is 6 inches long, the Giant Panda is indeed a behemoth.
Males weigh roughly 113kg on average, while females weigh just slightly less at 100kg. These bears are adept tree climbers despite their size. Giant pandas, unlike most bears, do not hibernate. Throughout the winter, they migrate to lower and warmer elevations, whereas in the summer, they travel to higher and colder elevations. They must consume between 26 and 84 pounds of bamboo daily, depending on the section of bamboo they consume. Pandas have an additional digit on their hand to aid them in eating bamboo.
6. Cinnamon bear
Cinnamon bear can grow around 3 feet tall and weighs 91 to 272 kg. It is found in the lowlands and mountains of North America with a life expectancy of 30 years. It is the subspecies of black bear and is known as a cinnamon bear because of its thick coat of reddish brown fur. It is generally black, brown, cinnamon, and white. It nourishes sticks, roots, berries, plants, insects, and bees.
Image Source: Wikimedia
7. Asiatic Black bear
Asiatic black bear is one of the types of bears that can grow as tall as 60 to 66 inches and weighs 90 to 180 kg. It is found in the grass plains and tundra of China, India, Japan, Eurasia, and Pakistan. It is a medium-sized black bear also known as a moon bear and has a life span of 25 years. Its thick fur is black, round head, with long snouts. It can be easily distinguished by a crescent-shaped white patch of fur on its chest. Its short tail gets hidden in a thick fur coat and does not look very cute and can attack as well. It is omnivores bear feeding on both vegetables and meat like insects, fruits, berries, birds, etc.
Image Source: Wikimedia
9. Grizzly bear
A grizzly bear can grow as tall as 8 feet and weighs 132 to 358 kg. it is black and dark brown and found in forests and mountain ranges of North America. It has a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years. The grizzly bear has a large head, round ears, a big face, and a very small tail. It is known for its muscular hump present on the upper back. Its hump provides it strength while digging. It is extremely powerful and has excellent memory. It is an omnivore animal having 42 teeth feeding on plants, berries, fishes, and birds.
A brown bear’s subspecies found in North America is the grizzly bear. Grizzlies often have brown fur that occasionally appears to be grizzled, or white-tipped. Grizzly bears tend to live alone, with the exception of mothers with cubs, though they may congregate in packs near the coast during salmon spawning. With the exception of females and their offspring, they typically reach up to 800 pounds and are solitary creatures.
Powerful top-of-the-food-chain predators, grizzly bears are. Nevertheless, berries, fruit, leaves, and roots make up a large portion of their diet. Moreover, bears eat other animals like moose and rats. Even though they are enormous, grizzlies have been recorded moving at 30 mph. These creatures require a lot of room; their home range can be up to 600 square miles. Grizzly bears are endangered species in the United States.
10. Kodiak bear
The Kodiak bear is the world’s largest bear growing 10 feet tall and weighing 600 to 1500 pounds. It is blonde to dark brown and found in the islands of Kodiak, Archipelago, in Alaska. A thick fur coat covers its entire body and enables it to live in a harsh environment. It is the largest subspecies of a brown bear feeding on species, fruits, nuts, and small animals.
11. Kermode bear
The Kermode bear, also referred to as the spirit bear, is a subspecies of the American black bear. They are essentially a species of black bear with white fur. Experts claim that it is very challenging to witness a white spirit bear in the wild. But recently, one was seen looking through a hunter’s bait that was spread out in the bush.
Dr. William Hornaday of the New York Zoo gave the scientific community its first description of this bear in 1905. He regarded them as a distinct species and gave them the name Ursus Kermode in honor of a Canadian colleague called Francis Kermode who had put in many hours to gather specimens and data. The Kermode bear was not reclassified as a regional race of the “Blackbear” until 1928.
12. Spectacled bear
The Andean bear, sometimes known as the Spectacled bear, is the only bear species native to South America. The Andean bears, who are classified as ‘Vulnerable,’ are the last short-faced living progenitors of the Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene short-faced bears. Although they are carnivorous by nature, most spectacled bears today favor a herbivorous diet. It is also one of the types of bears in the world.
Andean bear populations are very limited in most locations, and they are under severe threat from habitat degradation and loss, as well as poaching. They are excellent climbers and frequently construct platforms in trees to rest with the wonderful bears, which feed primarily on bulbs, leaves, fallen fruit, and cacti.
Image Source: Wikipedia
13. Asian Black Bear
Asiatic Black bears are medium-sized types of bears native to southern Asia. While deforestation, poaching, and the traditional medicine trade continue to be major threats to the struggling bears, they may still be found all across the world, from Afghanistan and the Himalayas to Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula. Because they have white chests, they are sometimes known as moon bears.
Mature males are similar in size to their American cousins, weighing between 130 and 440 lb and standing six feet tall, with females being slightly shorter and lighter. They are the most bipedal of bears and are also renowned to be excellent climbers. The unfussy critters, who are mostly found in woodland locations, feed on whatever food is in season, which can range from berries to insects and larvae to vines and fruit, nuts, and eggs. They prey on domestic stock sometimes, but nothing is known about their hunting in the wild.
Image Source: Wikimedia
14. Tibetan Blue Bear
The Tibetan blue bear is one of the types of bears that lives on the huge, mountainous plateau of the same name. It is known to live at high altitudes close to the tree line and has historically been found throughout the eastern Tibetan Plateau, with human encroachment and the traditional medicine trade being the main dangers to its already perilous position. Fur and bone samples have been discovered in the west, indicating that Tibetan Blue bears once lived there. The bears eat Pika and other small mammals, as well as pine nuts. The Tibetan Blue Bear is the rarest of all bears, and it is almost certainly extinct in the wild.
Image Source: Wikimedia
15. Marsican Brown Bear
The Marsican brown bear also known as Apennine brown bear is one of the types of bears which is a critically endangered population of the Eurasian brown bear. The bear species breeds in limited regions of the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise, and the surrounding region in Italy. Marsican Brown Bear is slightly different from the other brown bears in its appearance and hibernation techniques. The name of the bear has been defined from the modern-day region of Abruzzo where the bear has long had a significant presence.
One of the types of bears is critically endangered, and the Italian government is taking the required steps for the conservation of the bear species. The park has been made a sanctuary dedicated to one of the brown bear species. The behavior was relatively typical of any brown bear and these bears are mainly nocturnal, except when with their cubs or mating.
Image Source: Wikimedia
These are the different types of bears in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.