Animal World


Which bear lives in a tropical rain forest?

The Malayan sun bear (Ursus malayanus) is one of the rarest animals in the tropical forests of Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Burma, Thailand, and southern China. The smallest bear species, with a length of 3.3 to 4.6 feet (1 to 1.4 meters) and weighing 60 to 143 pounds (27 to 65 kilograms), it has a strong, stocky body. Against its black, short fur it has a characteristic orange-yellow-colored crescent across its chest, which according to legend represents the rising sun. With powerful paws having long, curved claws to help it climb trees in the dense forests, it is an expert tree climber. The sun bear tears at tree bark to expose insects, larvae, and the nests of bees and termites. Fruit, coconut palms, and small rodents are also part of its diet. Sleeping and sunbathing during the day, it is active at night. Unusually shy and retiring, cautious and intelligent, the sun bear is declining in population as its native forests are being destroyed.


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