In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at the 7 different types of bears that are still roaming around in the world today!
The Sun Bear is native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and is, therefore, the most arboreal of all types of bears. Their range runs all the way from the northeastern part of India through Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Their range ends in the south in Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. These are relatively small bears which makes them very suitable to live in the trees. They grow to a length between 120 and 150 centimeters and weigh anywhere between 35 and 80 kilos. Their diet mostly consists of termites, ants, beetle larvae, bee larvae, honey, and fruit.
The Polar Bear is the closest relative of the Brown Bear and is the biggest bear species in the world. They can grow between 220 and 244 centimeters long and weigh anywhere between 408 and 726 kilos, an incredibly heavy animal! These bears are ferocious hunters and eat various large mammals, including seals, walruses, and beluga whales. In case these are not available they also eat birds, fish, vegetation, and various types of seaweeds. Their completely white appearance makes them one of the best-recognized types of bears on the planet.
The Spectacled Bear is the only extant member of the subfamily Tremarctinae and is also commonly referred to as the Andean bear, the Andean short-faced bear, or the mountain bear. As you surely guessed, this bear is native to the Andes Mountains in South America. This type of bear has a varied diet and eats fruits, palm trees, and various types of mammals. It grows anywhere between 120 and 200 centimeters long and weighs between 60 and 175 kilos on average.
The Brown Bear is perhaps one of the best-known bear species in the world. They live all across Eurasia and North America and are referred to as “Grizzly Bears” in North America. It’s one of the biggest types of bears in the world as well. This particular bear can grow anywhere between 100 and 280 centimeters and weigh between 80 and 550 kilos. They also have an extremely varied diet and are true omnivores that feed on grasses, herbs, roots, berries, nuts, insects, mammals, and fish.
American Black Bear
The American Black Bear is the smallest type of bear in North America and also the most common bear species in the area. They have an even more varied diet as they eat vegetation, roots, buds, fruit, nuts, insects, fish, mammals, and even carrion. They grow anywhere between 120 and 200 centimeters long and weigh between 39 and 409 kilos. There are a total of 16 different subspecies roaming around in North America, which is the reason why the weight varies quite a bit on average.
The Sloth Bear is native to the Indian subcontinent and has a distinctive lower lip which it can use to suck up insects. Therefore, it’s sometimes referred to as the “labiated bear” as well. It’s no surprise that the main food of these bears is termites and insects, as well as various types of fruit. These bears are also relatively small compared to some of the bigger bear species. They grow anywhere between 150 and 180 centimeters and weigh between 54 and 141 kilos. Unfortunately, their habitat has diminished tremendously and they are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
The Giant Panda is the only extant member of the subfamily Ailuropodinae and is one of the most distinct bears on the planet. It has a black and white body with prominent black patches around its eyes. Even though it’s considered to be a carnivore, the Giant Panda only eats bamboo. This huge bear is native to south-central China. It grows between 150 and 180 centimeters (59 and 71 inches) long and weighs anywhere between 80 and 123 kilos (176 and 271 lbs).