Bears | Ursidae
Bears, of the family Ursidae, are large carnivorous mammals that live in a wide variety of habitats primarily throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Existing since prehistoric times, bears share characteristics such as large bodies, shaggy hair, clawed paws, stocky legs, and long snouts. Mostly carnivorous with the exception of the bamboo eating Giant Panda, bears are solitary hunters that spend long periods of the year in hibernation. There are only eight unique species of bears in the world.
Most species of bears eat plants, berries, insects, or fish as part of their daily diet. What a bear eats is largely dependent on their habitat. For example, a polar bear’s diet is mostly made up of seals, while black and grizzly bears may eat newborn elk, moose, deer, or caribou.
The average lifespan of a bear is determined by its species, habitat, natural predators, and hunting by humans. Typically bears in the wild can live between 20 to 30 years and in captivity bears may live up to 50 years.
Bears get ready to hibernate in late November and will remain in hibernation for about 5 months. During hibernation a bear will receive the necessary nutrients from a layer of fat that was formed during the summer and fall. They typically do not have the need to eat, drink, defecate, or urinate during this period.