The bear family unites the largest predatory animals. All bears have a powerful body, strong five-fingered paws with large claws and a massive head with small eyes. The wool of these predators is dense, solidly colored in brown, black or white. In some members of the family, the hair around the eyes and on the chest is colored in a light tone, contrasting with the main color. Bears move during the movement to the ground with all their feet, for which they are called standing feet. This distinguishes them from representatives of other families of the order of predatory (canine, feline), which move only on the fingers, for which they are called finger-walking.
The habitat of bears is very wide. They are found in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and in Africa. There are no bears on only two continents – in Australia and in Antarctica.
Modern classification distinguishes four types of bear – brown, baribala, white and white-chested. Only the polar bear is not represented by subspecies, all the other three species include subspecies, differing in appearance, behavior and habitat. Early species considered bears are now downgraded to the subspecies of one of the three species.
Brown bear lives in Eurasia and North America. This species has 14 different subspecies. The individuals of the smallest subspecies weigh about 100 kg, and the Kodiak – the largest subspecies living in Alaska, weighs up to 750 kg. Subspecies of brown bear differ in their coloration: some have light straw, almost white, others have brown, others have almost black.
The polar bear is the largest of the bears, and indeed among all terrestrial predators. Some specimens reach three meters in length and weigh an entire ton. This bear species has a white coat color, which allows it to remain unnoticed among the Arctic ice. Baribal (black bear) lives in North America, where it adjoins the grizzly – American subspecies of the brown bear. The fur of the baribalus is dark, almost black, the muzzle is light, yellowish or even white, the ears are large, and the claws are very long.
The white-bearded bear lives in Asia, differs from its brown fellow by a more harmonious body, narrow muzzle and huge ears. Also, the white-bearded bear has a characteristic coloration. The wool of this bear is black, and on the chest there is a white V-shaped spot.