Sun bears are among the most beautiful bears in the World. They can be easily recognizable due to their unique horseshoe-shaped chest mark. These tiny but captivating bears originate from tropical forests in Southeast Asia.
They are extremely arboreal and spend the majority of their time in the trees they live in. But there’s a lot more to discover about them, including understanding why they are among the most significant animals in the World. So, join us as we uncover ten fascinating facts about the sun bear!
1. Sun Bears get their Name from the Patch on their Chest
Sun bears are definitely one of the most beautiful and brightest-sounding names of our animal world. You might wonder how bears can get a name so appealing. The answer is simple. They have it due to their huge chest patches that are bright and vibrant. It is usually U-shaped, but it could also be circular and generally yellow, orange, or white. The rest of their bodies are black, and their hair is long and silky. The short hair of the lions is designed for living in hot tropical environments, which means they don’t get too hot.
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2. These are among the Smallest Bears in the World
At 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing 55 to 150 pounds, sun bears are the tiniest species of bears around the globe. They have large bodies and big paws but are much less in comparison to American Black bears (which can weigh up to 325 pounds) and giant pandas (which can weigh up to 350 pounds). By contrast, the biggest species of bear that is the polar bear can be as heavy as 1500 pounds.
3. Sun Bears are Shy and are solitary
Sun bears are very timid and lonely animals and given they are found in dense tropical forests, it’s natural. They are so shy that they’ve only been studied in a small amount, and very little is known about their habits. But we know that they generally stay away from people as long as they can, particularly in the most heavily-logged zones of their natural habitat. When they do meet individuals, they’re not particularly reckless or dangerous unless they are at risk or are astonished.
4. Sun Bears are modified to Climbing
Since sun bears are among the most arboreal bear species, it follows that they’re specifically adapted to climb. Their most notable adaptation is their claws, which are long, curving, and extremely sharp, which help grip trees and their branches. They are also devoid of hair on their feet. This is believed to aid them in their hold better. Not only that, their tiny size makes it easier to walk, climb and even move between trees.
5. They have exceptionally long tongues
One of the most amazing Sun bear facts is they possess extremely lengthy tongues. Sun bears’ tongues could be as long as 10 inches long! The length of their tongues is very useful, as they utilize it to pull honey and insect larvae out of the trees. Sun bears are also known by the Name “honey bears” because they adore honey. They also crack open mounds of termites and take a bite of the contents with their tongues long, letting them spit off every tasty bit of honey.
6. Although they’re called not night-time creatures.
Based on their names, it might be natural to think they are the most active during the day; however, this isn’t the reality. Sun bears are nocturnal and spend their nights exploring the forest, looking for food. During the day, they rest in their treetop nests.
7. Cubs weigh less than a Pound
Amazingly, sun bears are actually small at birth. The cubs’ weight is just 11.5 pounds. Sun bears are able to give birth anytime during the year and usually have two or three cubs at any one time. The gestation time varies and can range from 95 to 240 days. Cubs are born within hollow trees. They are held on the buttress roots at the bottom of the tree until they start to climb and walk at approximately two months. Cubs are deaf and blind at birth and remain completely dependent on their mother.
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8. Cubs stay with their mothers for three years
As mentioned that was made earlier, the cubs are typically with their mothers until they reach the age of maturity, which is approximately the age of three. Unexpectedly, the cubs are, in fact, weaned from milk from their mothers at around four months old. But they remain in her care until they are capable of breeding. This is largely due to the fact that although they’re no longer dependent on her milk, they still depend on her to show them to forage and climb and construct nests. Additionally, they still depend on her for protection against predators. While they aren’t natural predators, female sun bears willfully protect their cubs from danger. Sun bears are prey for tigers, snakes, and birds of prey.
9. Sun Bears are a Keystone Species
Every animal has a place to play in the maintenance of the equilibrium of the ecosystem, but for certain species, that role is more important than others. Sun bears are one the species that play an important role to play since they are a keystone species. This implies that they are vital to the entire ecosystem. As keystone species, they are crucial to the diversity of their ecosystem. Sun bears are essential in the process of seed dispersal because they disperse seeds from plants they eat using their urine.
10. Sun Bears are some of the most rabid Bears around the World
Sun bears are at risk and are classified as a threatened animal species. Sun bears are the second rare bear species in the World, after giant pandas. Their population is declining. The most significant threats they are facing today are habitat destruction and poaching by poachers.