Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- General characteristics
- American black bear (Ursus americanus)
- Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus)
- Brown bear (Ursus arctos)
- Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)
- Sloth bear (Ursus ursinus)
- Malayan sun bear (Ursus malayanus)
- Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
- Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The bear family (Ursidae) contains the largest terrestrial carnivores. Most taxonomists agree that there are eight extant species of bears in three subfamilies: Ursinae (American black, Asiatic black, brown, polar, Malayan Sun, and sloth bears); Tremarctinae (Andean or spectacled bear); and Ailuropodinae (giant panda). Bears currently inhabit North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Habitats range from polar ice floes to tropical forests. They are absent from Australia, Africa, and Antarctica.
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