Image: HiRISE spots Curiosity rover at Mars' Woodland Bay

A dramatic Martian landscape can be seen in a new image taken from space, showing NASA's Curiosity rover examining a location called "Woodland Bay." It's just one of many stops the rover has made in an area referred to as ...

Camera traps reveal Romania's incredible wildlife

Grey wolves, brown bears and Eurasian lynx have all been captured on film by camera traps in Romania. The camera traps were carefully positioned to monitor the distribution of bears and wolves, but Fauna & Flora International's ...

Rescued bear cub goes missing in southwest France

A malnourished bear cub found wandering alone through a French village last week has escaped from the home of its appointed carer, triggering a major search, local authorities said Monday.

What drives Yellowstone's massive elk migrations?

Every spring, tens of thousands of elk follow a wave of green growth up onto the high plateaus in and around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, where they spend the summer calving and fattening on fresh grass. And ...

A polar-bear-inspired material for heat insulation

For polar bears, the insulation provided by their fat, skin, and fur is a matter of survival in the frigid Arctic. For engineers, polar bear hair is a dream template for synthetic materials that might lock in heat just as ...

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover finds a clay cache

NASA's Curiosity rover has confirmed that the region on Mars it's exploring, called the "clay-bearing unit," is well deserving of its name. Two samples the rover recently drilled at rock targets called "Aberlady" and "Kilmarie" ...

Video: Fly over Mount Sharp on Mars

Ever wanted to visit Mars? A new animated video shows what it would be like to soar over Mount Sharp, which NASA's Curiosity rover has been climbing since 2014.

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Bear

Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere. That which pertains to bears is called ursine. Bears are found in the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Common characteristics of modern bears include a large body with stocky legs, a long snout, shaggy hair, plantigrade paws with five nonretractile claws, and a short tail. While the polar bear is mostly carnivorous and the giant panda feeds almost entirely on bamboo, the remaining six species are omnivorous, with largely varied diets including both plants and animals.

With the exceptions of 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 are aided by an excellent sense of smell, and despite their heavy build and awkward gait, they can run quickly and are adept climbers and swimmers. In autumn some bear species forage large amounts of fermented fruits which affects their behaviour. Bears use shelters such as caves and burrows as their dens, which are occupied by most species during the winter for a long period of sleep similar to hibernation.

Bears have been hunted since prehistoric times for their meat and fur. To this day, they play a prominent role in the arts, mythology, and other cultural aspects of various human societies. In modern times, the bear's existence has been pressured through the encroachment on its habitats and the illegal trade of bears and bear parts, including the Asian bile bear market. The IUCN lists six bear species as vulnerable or endangered, and even "least concern" species such as the brown bear are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations is prohibited, but still ongoing.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA