Mar 24, 2012
Julia

Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus)

 

Did you know?

That sloth bears are the only bears that carry their young on their backs? In 1700, the first Europeans who saw sloth bears described them as sloths, because of its ungainly appearance and long claws. The Hindi word for bear “bhalu” inspired Rudyard Kipling character’s bear, Baloo, in The Jungle Book.

The sloth bear is a bear of medium size, with males larger than females. The length is 130-180 cm, shoulder height is 65-100 cm and weighs 55-145 kg. They have a long snout with protruding lips moving and a broad nose blackish brown that can be closed voluntarily. The eyes and teeth are small, the first upper incisor missing. It has tufts of hair on the ears. The coat is long (80-200 mm), thick and dense, typically black or blackish brown (sometimes cinnamon, or “red”), except the face and mouth where hair is short and dirty white, beige or brown . A white, yellow, or brown on the breast with a V-shaped mark is present. The hair is straight or wavy hair is longer on the neck and shoulders. The soles of the feet are bare. The claws are white, cream or light brown from time to time. Their claws are very long, strong, and curved.

 

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