Saturday, December 7, 2013
Creature Feature #52: Bear
The Bear Family are characterised by their bulky size; plantigrade walk and (generally) omnivorous diet. Despite their relatively short legs and powerfully built bodies, they are adept climbers, runners and swimmers. Eight extant species are spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, with only one in the South. This one, the Brown Bear is the most widely distributed having populations across North America and Eurasia, in a number of distinct subspecies. Brown Bears range in weight from a mere 80 kg, up to 680 kg depending on habitat and diet. The Brown is an opportunistic forager, and eats a wider range of food stuffs than any other bear species - which includes scavenging through garbage or raiding cars or tents. Her more natural diet consists of anything she can get her paws of, and when the salmon are swimming upriver to spawn, she will take prime advantage of this tasty addition to her diet. She will catch them in her mouth when the fish jump up the rapids; wade in and pin them with her paws; or even dive to catch them.