The biggest predator in nature is the bear. This is a mammal animal, a predator. Approximately six million years ago, this animal appeared on earth and has always been considered a symbol of strength and protection. In this article, you will learn about the bear, where it lives, what it feeds on, how it breeds.
The length of the body depends on the type of animal, it can be from one to three meters, and the weight can reach from 40kg to a ton. The body of the predator is large and squat, has a thick short neck and a large head. Very strong jaws can gnaw not only plant food, but also various meats. Although the paws of the bear and clumsy, but they are quite strong. Because of this, the animal walks, swaying, in different directions and the whole foot serves as a support. Its speed reaches up to 50km / h. With the help of their large claws, they freely dig food from the soil, tear apart their prey and easily climb trees. Most of these predators swim very well. Polar bears have a membrane between their fingers. The bear lives about 45 years.
A bear has poorly developed eyesight and hearing, but his sense of smell works perfectly, sometimes a bear can rise on the building of its paw and smell it in order to better feel the prey.
The bear has a very thick coat, it covers its entire body. Color of wool in different shades from brown to black. Polar bears are white, and pandas are black with white. When the bear is aging, having a dark shade of wool, turns gray and becomes gray. In all species of bears there is a tail, in all it is short and hardly noticeable under the fur, and in the panda it is clearly visible.
How much does a brown bear live?
The life of a clubfoot depends on its habitat. In the wild, a brown bear can reach the age of 20 to 35 years. If the animal is kept in a zoo, this figure is almost doubled. In captivity, a bear can live for about 50 years. The onset of puberty occurs between the ages of 6 and 11 years.
The size and weight of the animal
Standard length torso predator torso ranges from one to two meters. The largest bears live in Alaska, Kamchatka and the Far East. These are grizzlies, true giants, whose height at the stand on their hind legs reaches three meters.
The maximum weight of a bear (brown) can be 600 kg. These are real heavyweight giants. The average weight of an adult male is 140-400 kg, and the weight of the female is 90-210 kg. The largest male was found on Kodiak Island. His body weight was enormous - 1134 kg. However, animals living in central Russia weigh much less - about 100 kg.
By the fall, this animal accumulates a large amount of fat reserves for the next hibernation, and therefore the weight of the bear (brown) increases by 20%.
Most bears live in dense forests, in marshlands. Often they can be seen in the tundra or highland forests. In Russia, this animal occupies the remote northern regions. Very often there are brown bears in Siberia. The tranquil forests of the taiga allow the clubfoot to feel spacious and free, and here nothing interferes with their existence.
In the US, bears live mostly in open areas - on the coasts, alpine meadows. In Europe, they mostly live in the dense mountain forests.
In Asia, you can also find populations of brown bears. Their range covers small areas of Palestine, Iran, northern China and the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
What do bears eat?
Omnivorous and endurance - these are the main qualities that help the beast to survive in difficult conditions. In the diet of the brown bear 75% is plant food. Bruin can feed on tubers, nuts, berries, stalks of herbs, roots and acorns. If this is not enough, the bear can go to the crops of oats or corn, feed in cedar forests.
Large individuals possess remarkable strength and prey on small young animals. With just one blow of a huge paw, a bear can kill the spine of an elk or a deer. He hunts roe deer, wild boar, fallow deer, mountain goats. No problem, brown bears can eat rodents, larvae, ants, frogs, worms and lizards.
Skillful fishermen and masking
Often bears feed on carrion. Clumsy animal remains found skillfully covers it with brushwood and tries to stay nearby until it completely eats its “find”. If the bear has recently eaten, it can wait a few days. After some time, the meat of the killed animal will become softer, and he will enjoy it with pleasure.
The most amazing occupation of bears is fishing. They go to the Far Eastern spawning rivers, where salmon are massively accumulated. Especially here bears are bred with their offspring. Mother skillfully catches salmon and carries it to her cubs.
At the same time on the river you can see up to 30 bears, which often engage in battle for prey.
The bear has very developed olfactory organs. The smell of decomposed meat, he clearly feels, even being from him at a distance of 3 km. His hearing is also very well developed. Sometimes a bear gets up on its hind legs to listen to any sound or to feel the direction of the smell of food.
How does a bear behave in nature? The brown "master of the taiga" begins to bypass its ownership at dusk or early in the morning. In bad weather or during rainy periods, he can wander through the woods all day in search of food.
Speed and agility - the distinctive qualities of the beast
At first glance, this huge animal seems very awkward and slow. But it is not. The big brown bear is very agile and easy to move. In pursuit of the victim, he can reach a speed of up to 60 km / h. The bear is also a great swimmer. It can easily cover a distance of 6-10 km by water and swims with pleasure on hot summer days.
Young bears nimbly climb trees. With age, this ability is slightly dulled, but does not disappear. However, deep snow is a difficult experience for them, as the bear moves along with great difficulty.
Having regained strength after a long sleep, brown bears are ready for mating. Gon starts in spring, in May, and lasts about a month. Females notify about readiness for mating by a special secret, which has a strong smell. On these tags males find their chosen ones and protect them from rivals.
Sometimes for the female between two bears, fierce battles arise in which the fate and, sometimes, the life of one of them is decided. In the case of the death of one of the males, the winner can even eat it.
In the mating season, bears are very dangerous. They make a wild roar and can attack a person.
Reproduction of offspring
Exactly 6-8 months in the den bear cubs are born. Usually the female brings 2-4 cubs, completely bald, with underdeveloped organs of hearing and vision. However, a month later, the cubs opened their eyes, there is the ability to catch sounds. Immediately after birth, the young weigh about 500 g, and their length reaches 25 cm. By 3 months, the cubs have all the milk teeth cut.
For the first 6 months of their life, babies eat mother's milk. Then berries, insects, greens are added to their diet. Later, the mother brings them fish or their prey. For about 2 years, youngsters live with their mother, they learn habits, the subtleties of hunting, lie dormant with her. The independent life of a young bear begins at the age of 3-4 years. The bear father never takes part in raising the offspring.
The brown bear is an unstable animal. In one place it eats, in another it sleeps, and for mating it can leave several kilometers from its usual habitat. A young bear wanders around the area until it starts a family.
Brown master marks his possessions. Here he can only hunt alone. He marks the borders in a special way, tearing the bark from the trees. In areas without plantations, a bear may peel objects that are in its field of view - stones, slopes.
In the summer, he can blithely relax on open glades, lying directly on the ground. The main thing that this place was secluded and safe for the bear.
Before hibernation, the bear must gain the necessary amount of fat reserves. If it is not enough, the animal has to wander further in search of food. From this comes the name - the rod.
Moving into the cold season, the bear is doomed to death from frost, hunger or a hunter's gun. However, in winter you can meet not only the connecting rod. Often the bear’s sleep may simply be disturbed by humans. Then this plump beast is forced to seek a new refuge in order to again hibernate.
Bear chooses this winter shelter with special care. For lairs, reliable calm places are selected, located on the borders of marshes, in windbreaks, on the banks of rivers, in secluded caves. The shelter should be dry, warm, spacious and safe.
The bear settles his den with moss, laying out a soft litter. Tree shelter camouflaged and insulated. Very often a bear has enjoyed a good den for several years.
The life of brown bears is to search for food, especially before hibernation. Before plunging into sleep, the beast diligently confuses traces: it goes through the swamps, dodges and even steps backwards.
Quiet and relaxing holiday
In a cozy den, bears sleep all frosty long winter. Old males leave their shelter before anyone else. The longest bear is in the den with the offspring. Hibernation of brown bears lasts 5-6 months. It usually begins in October, and ends in April.
Bears do not sink into deep sleep. They retain sensitivity and vitality, they are easy to disturb. The body temperature of the bear during sleep is in the range of 29-34 degrees. During hibernation, little energy is consumed, and the clubfoot grabs its fat reserves, acquired during active time. During the winter holidays, the bear loses about 80 kg of its weight.
Throughout the winter, the bear sleeps on its side, comfortably curled up. Less often observed are postures on the back or sitting, with the head down. Breathing and heart rate during hibernation slow down.
Surprisingly, during the winter sleep, this animal does not defecate. All waste in the body of the bear are re-processed and converted into valuable proteins necessary for its existence. The rectum is closed by a dense cork consisting of needles, compressed grass and wool. It is removed after the animal leaves the den.
Does the bear suck paw?
Many naively believe that in winter hibernation, clubfoot produces valuable vitamins from their limbs. But it is not. The fact is that in January the skin on the pads of a bear is renewed. Old dry skin breaks and gives him a strong discomfort. In order to temper this itch somehow, the bear licks its paw, moisturizing and softening it with its saliva.
Dangerous and strong animal
The bear is first and foremost a predator, mighty and terrible. A chance encounter with this enraged beast will not bring anything good.
Spring rutting, winter searching for a new refuge - during these periods the most dangerous is the brown bear. Description or photographs of animals that live in nurseries and treat people kindly should not deceive you — there they grew up in completely different conditions. In nature, a seemingly calm beast can be cruel and easily carry your head. Especially if you wandered into its territory.
It is also necessary to avoid females with offspring. Mothers are driven by instinct and aggression, so it’s better not to get up on her way.
Of course, the behavior of clubfoot depends on the situation and the time of year. Often the bears themselves run away, seeing a person in the distance. But do not think that since this beast can eat berries and honey, this is his favorite food. The best food for a bear is meat, and he will never miss an opportunity to get it.
This nickname is firmly established for the bear. And all of the fact that when walking, he steps alternately on the right and left paws. Therefore, from the outside it seems that the bear is a kosolapit.
But this slowness and clumsiness is deceptive. When a dangerous situation arises, this beast instantly goes into a gallop and easily overtakes a person. The peculiarity of the structure of the front and hind legs allows it to show unprecedented agility when climbing uphill. He conquers tops much faster than he descends from them.
It took more than one millennium to form such a complex system of habitat and life of this amazing animal. As a result, brown bears have gained the ability to survive in areas where there are harsh climatic conditions. Nature is amazing, and it remains only to admire her wisdom and immutable laws, putting everything in its place.