Sloth Bear

Sloth Bear

The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), also known as the Stickney bear or labiated bear, is a nocturnal insectivorous bear species found wild within the Indian Subcontinent. The sloth bear evolved from ancestral brown bears during the Pleistocene and shares features found in insect-eating mammals through convergent evolution.

Sloth bears are expert hunters of termites, which they locate by smell. The large canine teeth of sloth bears, relative to both its overall body size and to the size of the canine teeth of other bear species, and the aggressive disposition of sloth bears may be a defense in interactions with large, dangerous species such as tigers, elephants, and rhinoceroses. Tigers typically hunt sloth bears by waiting for them near termite mounds, then creeping behind them and seizing them by the back of their necks and forcing them to the ground with their weight. Asian elephants also apparently do not tolerate sloth bears in their vicinity. The reason for this is unknown, as individual elephants known to maintain their composure near tigers have been reported to charge bears. The Indian rhinoceros has a similar intolerance for sloth bears, and will charge at them. Photo: wikipedia

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