Bear information reveals that the Bear species belong to the family Ursidae. They are a mammal species and are carnivorous in nature. The bear species are predominantly found in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. The bear variety found is either brown or black in colour. The only exception to this is the Polar Bear which is pure white in colour. The Bear is a solitary animal, which means it roams around alone by itself. It is physically a large animal and a very powerful one too. Bears are diurnal animals implying they are active both during the day as well as during the night. Bears have a habit of hibernating for long durations during winters. During this period, they usually take shelters in caves. Let’s explain about Types of bears is here.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Top 8 Types of Bears:

Around the world, there are 8 different species of Bears which are in existence now.

The list of bears types is described as below,

1. American Black Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The American Black bear is the most commonly found bear species across the world. This type of bear is mostly found in large forested and mountainous areas of North America. Its scientific name is Ursus americnus. The adult male weighs between 57-250 kg. While its female counterpart is lighter, between 41-170kg. It is medium-sized, deep black in colour and physically very strong with soft, dense fur. The male is broadly built with narrow muzzles while the female is more slender. The subspecies Bear names are many. The Common ones are Olympic black bear, New Mexico Black bear, Eastern Black bear, California black bear, Cinnamon bear, Glacier Bear, East Mexican black bear, Florida Bear, Newfoundland Black bear, and Kermode bear, and Vancouver Island Black bear.

  • What to Eat: The American Black Bears are omnivorous. They feed on young plants, buds, grasses, roots, and berries and are fond of nuts. They hunt for fish and rarely on mules and deer.
  • Lifespan: The average life span of the American Black bear is 18 years.
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern

2. Asian Black Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The Asian Black Bear, as its name suggests, is a bear species predominant in Asia. It is found in India, Korea, Northeast China, Russia, Japan & Taiwan. It is also known as the moon bear and the white-chested bear. Its scientific name is Ursus thibetanus. It is medium-sized and black in colour with a distinct white patch on their chest. The average weight of a male bear is 135 kg. While that of the female is 85 kg. The Bear names of the subspecies of the Asian black bears are – Formosan Black Bear, Pakistan Black Bear, Japanese Black Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Indochinese black bear, Tibetan Black Bear, and Ussuri black bear.

  • What to Eat: The Asian Black Bear is omnivorous in its food habits and feeds on insects, eggs, grasses, fruits, nuts, grains, and fish.
  • Lifespan: The average life span is 25 years.
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

3. Spectacled Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The Spectacled Bear is named so, due to its distinct feature of having beige colouring across its face and upper chest, giving it a bespectacled look. This bear species is also known as Andean Bear, Andean short-faced bear or mountain bear. Its scientific name is Tremarctos ornatus. It is a native of South America and is medium-sized in build. The average weight of an adult male is 115 kg. And the female species is 65 kg. Spectacled bears are arboreal in nature and spend a lot of time on trees. Spectacled bears are solitary animals and move around single.

  • What to Eat: They are mostly herbivores in nature and feed on fruits, nuts, bamboo, plants, and sugarcane and very rarely on meat.
  • Lifespan: Spectacled bears are known to live an average of 20 years
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Read: Types of tiger Species

4. Giant Panda Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The Giant Panda Bear has a very distinct appearance with black patches around its eyes and an overall black and white soft-furred body. This Types of bears is very popular with humans due to its adorable looks. The white colour helps the Panda camouflage with its snowy surroundings. The Giant Panda Bear lives in South Central China and is also known as Panda Bear or Panda. Its scientific name is Ailuropoda melanoleuca. There are 2 subspecies to the Giant Panda whose Bear names are nominated subspecies (Scientific name Ailuropoda m.melanoleuca) and Qinling Panda ( Scientific name A.m.qinlingensis). The average weight of an adult male Giant Panda is 115 kg. with the females weighing a little lesser at 100 kg.

  • What to Eat: The Giant Panda Bear is a herbivore and feeds on bamboo shoots and leaves.
  • Life Span: The Giant Panda Bear has a life span of 20 years.
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

5. Sun Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The Sun Bear is the smallest among the bear species. It is native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Honey bear due to its huge appetite for honey. Its scientific name is Helarctos malayanus. It has a distinct horseshoe-shaped orange-coloured patch on its neck. The Sun bear has 2 subspecies, namely – The Malayan Sun Bear and The Bornean Sun Bear. It is the fiercest of all the bear types and is usually solitary. The Sun Bear does not hibernate like all the other species. The male adult weighs an average of 80 kg. While the females are around 20% lesser.

  • What to Eat: The Sun Bear is an Omnivore and feeds on all fruits, nuts, palms, termites, and ants.
  • Life Span: The Sun Bear has an average life span of 30 years
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

6. Sloth Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The Sloth Bear is a medium-sized bear species whose scientific name is Melursus ursinus, found primarily in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is also known as the Labiate Bear due to its long lower lip and palate. Its black fur is long and shaggy, forming a mane around its face. This is the main bear species; these types of bears ears have long hair. The subspecies are the Indian Sloth Bear and the Sri-Lankan Sloth Bear. The adult male weighs an average of 112 kg. While the female bear is smaller and weighs around 80 kg. They move about in pairs and do not hibernate. They are excellent climbers and swimmers. Sloth Bears were commonly used for entertainment as dancing bears in India.

  • What to Eat: The Sloth Bear is an ant-eating bear species and feeds mainly on ants and termites. Fruits like mangoes, jackfruit and sugarcane forms are a favourite too.
  • Life Span: The Sloth Bear has an average life span of about 20 years.
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Read: Different Types Of Wolves With Images

7. Brown Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The Brown Bear is a large-sized bear species, also known as Grizzly Bear. Its scientific name is Ursus arctos, a native of Northern Eurasia and Northern America. The subspecies of Brown Bear are many. Some common ones are Eurasian Brown Bear, Kamchatka Brown Bear, East Siberian Brown Bear, Atlas Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Tibetan Blue Bear, Kodiak bear, and California Grizzly Bear (extinct), Dall Island Brown Bear and Ungava Brown Bear (extinct). Brown Bears are physically very hugely built, having long thick fur and long mane at the back of their necks. The average weight of an adult male is 217 kg. And the female is 152 kg. They are solitary in nature and are partial hibernators. The Brown Bear is a National and State animal in many European Countries.

  • What to Eat: The Brown Bear is an Omnivorous animal and is found to consume a variety of foods. They feed on plants like flowers, grasses, pine cones, mushrooms, berries, etc. and also animals like bugs, beetles, fish, honeybees, squirrels, mice and chipmunks.
  • Life Span: The Brown Bear has an average life span of about 25 years.
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern

8. Polar Bear:

Image Source: Freepik

The Polar Bear is a large bear species whose scientific name is Ursus maritimus and found primarily around the Arctic Circle. It has evolved to adapt to its cold surroundings, and being completely white in colour helps in camouflaging. Below the white fur, the skin is black to help absorb the sun’s heat. Spending more time on sea ice is the main fact about polar bears. The adult male Polar Bear weighs about 500 kg.; the female is about 250 kg. The 2 subspecies are the American Polar Bear and the Siberian Polar Bear. They are excellent swimmers with the capacity to swim for days together. Polar Bears are quiet and solitary animals. Polar bears do not hibernate and fast during winters when the sea ice is frozen.

  • What to Eat: the Polar Bear is a carnivore, and its main diet consists of seals found beneath the ice.
  • Life Span: The Polar Bear has an average life span of about 25 years.
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Interesting Facts about Bears:

  • Bear species are highly intelligent animals and are capable of opening screw-top jars and unlocking door latches too. It has been studied that bears are capable of distinguishing different colours and also shapes, unlike many mammals.
  • All the different types of Bears are very fond of honey and scrape out the honeycomb irrespective of the bee stings.
  • Bears have a tremendous learning capacity. Humans have exploited this to hold them captive and use them for performances in circuses. Bears could even be taught to dance and ride on bicycles when trained.
  • Bears are capable of walking for short distances on two feet, like humans. Native Americans were known to refer to the bear as “the beast that walks like a man”.
  • There are no bear species in Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.
  • Teddy Bears were named after US President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
  • When a bear hibernates, it does not urinate or defecate. Its body converts the body waste into protein.
  • The bile from the gall bladder of the bear is used for medicinal purposes.
  • Koala Bears are neither bears nor related to the bear family.

Although the Bear species are powerful wild animals, it is recognised as a symbol of power, strength, and love. Many earlier civilisations have known to hour the bear.

Read: Most Endangered Wild Animals Names

Different types of bears represent the state and nation of many states and countries in the world due to its popularity. However, human intervention has led to a drastic decrease in its count across the globe. Most bear species fall under the “vulnerable” category, while a couple of them are considered “endangered”.

It is the duty of the human race to protect this adorable animal from becoming extinct and save its race.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

1. What are the biggest & smallest bears in the world?

Ans: The Polar Bear is the largest bear species in the world. They stand tall at around 8-9 feet tall and weigh about 350 -700 kg. The Kodiak bear, which is a subspecies of the Brown Bear, is the same size though brown in color.
The Sun Bear is the smallest bear species among all. It grows just up to 4-5 feet tall and weighs 30-70 kg. Though small, it can be quite ferocious when provoked.

2. Where do bears live?

Ans: Bears are found in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, largely in America, Europe, and Asia. The Brown Bear is most widely distributed, while the American Black bear is the most common species. The Polar Bears are found in the cold region around the Arctic circle. The location and habitats differ based on the species, from tropical rainforests to mountainous regions. However, there are no bears found in Africa, Australia and Antarctica.

3. Why are bears endangered? What is the list of endangered bear species?

Ans: Most types of bears are endangered due to loss of habitat. This loss of habitat could be due to natural factors as well as human intervention.
Bears are also endangered due to poaching for its skin, to be kept as pets, to be used in performing acts in circuses and for its organs which have medicinal value.
The Giant Panda is the most endangered species.

4. What are the fake bears?

Ans: It is surprising that there are a couple of animals named as bears, which factually do not belong to the bear species. There is the Koala Bear, which is actually a marsupial. The Red Panda is not a Panda but belongs to the raccoon family. The Water Bear is a microscopic organism, and the Asian Bearcat belongs to the civets’ family.
And, of course, the popular Teddy Bear, which is not an animal at all, but a stuffed toy.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.