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Panda Bears (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

The Panda Bear certainly is very different in appearance than the other species of bears. It features both black and white on the body. It has black fur on ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, and shoulders. The rest of the animal's coat is white. Although scientists do not know why these unusual bears are black and white, some speculate that the bold coloring provides effective camouflage into their shade-dappled snowy and rocky surroundings. The panda's thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat. A wild panda spends much of its day resting, feeding, and seeking food. Unlike other bears from temperate climates, giant pandas do not hibernate.

Panda Bear Fun Facts

  • Full grown male Panda Bears will be about 350 pounds.
  • Full grown female Panda Bears will be about 170 pounds.
  • Giant pandas reach breeding maturity between four and eight years of age.
  • Pandas live in broadleaf and coniferous forests with a dense understory of bamboo.
  • The ppanda's paw has a "thumb" and five fingers; the "thumb" helps it to hold bamboo while eating.
  • The collective name for a group of Panda Bears is a sleuth or sloth.
  • The sounds made by Panda Bears are referred to as bleats, honks and growls.
  • Less than 2,500 Giant Panda Bears are alive due to habitat destruction putting them on the world's most Endangered species.
  • Pandas are territorial and solitary animals.
  • Pandas can live up to around 20 years in the wild.
  • Pandas are expert at climbing trees.
  • Pandas have been on earth for about 3 million years.

Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

Polar bears are classified as marine mammals because they spend most of their lives on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean and roaming the Arctic ice sheets. They have a thick layer of body fat and a water-repellant coat that insulates them from the cold air and water. Considered talented swimmers, they can sustain a pace of six miles per hour by paddling with their front paws and holding their hind legs flat like a rudder. Some polar bears have been seen swimming hundreds of miles from land—though they probably cover most of that distance by floating on sheets of ice. These powerful predators typically prey on seals. In search of this quarry they frequent areas of shifting, cracking ice where seals may surface to breathe air. Polar bears spend over 50 percent of their time hunting for food, but less than two percent of their hunts are successful.

Polar Bear Fun Facts

  • Polar bears live in the Arctic.
  • Polar bears have black fur under their outer layer of white fur.
  • It is the largest carnivore (meat eater) that lives on land.
  • Polar bears use sea ice as a platform to hunt seals.
  • Seals make up most of a polar bears diet.
  • Male polar bears can weigh up to 1500 pounds.
  • Female polar bears usually only weigh about half as much as males.
  • Polar bears spend most of their time at sea.
  • Polar bears have 42 teeth.
  • Polar bears keep warm thanks to nearly 10 cm of blubber under the skin.
  • Polar bears have an excellent sense of smell, with the ability to detect seals nearly a mile away.
  • Polar bears can reach speeds up to 25 mph on land and 6 mph in water.
  • The polar bear was the mascot for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.

Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus)

The sloth bear is a bit messy in appearance. It has long, rough, unruly hair around its ears, shoulders and neck that is cinnamon to dark brown in color. The pale muzzle, usually white, and a flexible nose sniff out interesting smells. While it might have a "bear" of an appetite, the sloth bear has more in common with an anteater than other bears. Even though it is omnivorous, the sloth bear usually eats termites and ants. Large, thick 3 inch claws come in handy for ripping apart termite nests in soil, old logs, or trees - a noisy activity. In fact, sloth bears are well known for being very noisy bears, especially while they eat.

Sloth Bear Fun Facts

  • The generic name Melursus derives from the bear's avid attraction to honey.
  • Besides honey the diet of bears include berries during the fruiting season, termites, ants and other insects.
  • Male bears weigh between 175 to 320 pounds and females between 120 to 210 pounds.
  • Bears can live upto 34 years in captivity. Longitivity in wild is not known.
  • Cubs ride on the mother’s back.
  • Sloth bears have been used in circuses, and called "the juggling bear."
  • Sloth bears show aggressive behavior towards humans and other natural predators.
  • Baloo of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book is a sloth bear.
  • Physical adaptations for digging and eating insects include long, slightly curved claws, a broad palate for sucking, the absence of two front upper incisors and large protrusible lips.

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