Information about bears:
Bears mammals of the family Ursidae. They are caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although only eight species of bears are extant, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere.
Bears are found on the continents of North America, Central America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Common characteristics of modern bears include large bodies with stocky legs, long snouts, shaggy hair, plantigrade paws with five nonretractile claws, and short tails. The polar bear is mostly carnivorous, the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, and the remaining six species are omnivorous with varied diets. Except courting individuals and mothers with their young, bears are typically solitary animals. They are generally diurnal, but may be active during the night (nocturnal) or twilight (crepuscular) particularly around humans. Bears possess an excellent sense of smell and, despite their heavy build and awkward gait, are adept runners, climbers, and swimmers.
In autumn, some bear species forage much fermented fruit, which affects their behavior. Bears den in caves and burrows; most species occupy their dens during the winter for a long period (up to 100 days) of sleep that resembles hibernation. Bears have been hunted since prehistoric times for their meat and fur.
With their tremendous physical presence and charisma, they play a prominent role in the arts, mythology, and other cultural aspects of various human societies. In modern times, the bears’ existence has been pressured through the encroachment on their habitats and the illegal trade of bears and bear parts, including the Asian bile bear market.