10 facts about… Sun Bears

As a continuation of the 10 facts about bears series this time I am covering the Sun Bear. It is one of eight different species of bear comprising the American Black Bear, Brown Bear, Giant Panda, Polar Bear, Asiatic Black Bear, Spectacled Bear and the Sloth Bear. I will also add the Sun Bear to the Vital Statistics series.

1. At just 120cm from nose tip to tail tip and reaching up to only 70cm tall on all fours, this Sun Bear geezer is definitely petit and certainly not what springs to mind when one conjures up images of bears.

2. These guys have some serious toe nail issues. Measuring in at about 10cm each, Sun Bears have ridiculously long and curvy claws. They are very handy with them too, using them to dissect trees and shred open termite mounds and beehives. They are also useful for helping them grip when climbing.

3. Sun Bears walk a little funny. The feet of a Sun Bear turn inwards slightly. This is thought to be an adaptation of its tree climbing nature. Along with its long curvy claws and inward pointing feet it also has bald flat soles on its large paws, which would all aid climbing. The female has been observed cradling its cubs while walking on its hind legs, a very unusual trait for a bear.

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Vital Statistics: Bears

Sun Bear

Age Range: Sun Bears are thought to live up to 25 years in captivity and between 15 and 20 years in the wild.

Height: Between about 60 – 70 cm tall, measured to shoulder height.

Length: 120 – 150 cm nose to tail.

Weight: Adult males weigh 30 – 65 kilograms. Adult females weigh 20 – 40 kg.

Family: Ursidae.

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