Aquatic and Land Animal Diversity


What are the smallest and largest bear species?

The smallest bear in the world—and also considered the least studied—is the sun (or honey) bear that lives in the human lowland tropics of Southeast Asia. They have short, sleek, and dense black fur (for protection from dirt and insects), are good tree climbers, are omnivores (eating anything they can find in the rain forest, especially honey and bee larvae), and can weigh about 100 pounds (45 kilograms). The largest bear species is the Polar Bear (or “sea bears”) that live around the Arctic Circle, including the North Pole, and northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America (with about 60 percent of the population in Canada). Their fur looks white, but it can also be yellow or even greenish depending on the light. They are one of the largest land predators in the world, can reach about 10 feet (305 centimeters) in height and weight between 800 and 1,600 pounds (360–720 kilograms), although females weigh less. The largest recorded polar bear was a male that weighed over 2,200 pounds (990 kilograms) and was over 12 feet (365 centimeters) tall.


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