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Bear Fact Friday

panda

A bear’s normal heartbeat is 40 beats per minute. A hibernating bear’s heart rate drops to 8 bpm.

Bears can see almost as well as humans, and they can hear a little better. But they can smell much better. In fact, a bear’s sense of smell is around 100 times greater than a human’s. Polar bears can track down an odor from 20 miles away. They can smell a dead seal under 3 feet of solid ice.

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the largest bear species. A male polar bear can measure up to 10 feet long and weigh 1,500 lbs., which is about the weight of eight human adults. Female polar bears are up to 50% smaller than the males.

The Sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest of the bears and is about the size of a large dog. It gets its name from a blond chest patch of fur that looks like a setting sun. Sun bears are also known as honey bears.

Because a giant panda’s eye is a vertical slit, like many nocturnal animals it can see by day and by night.

Only about 1,000 giant pandas live in the wild today.

The most widely distributed bear is the brown bear. They are very large, typically weighing 700 pounds (317 kg).

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