Bear Species that Faced Extintion
Unfortunately there are already several extinct bear species that we know of. Extinct means that there aren’t any more of them out there in the world anywhere. We will never have the opportunity for them to be back again. All that we have left of them are photos, skins, and some documentations of where they used to be.
The Giant Short-Faced Bear became extinct about 12,000 years ago and is believed to have been the one on Earth to run the fastest. This was because the direction of the toes was straight forward instead of spread out as they are on all other species of bears. These animals lived in the areas of North America, mainly California. It is believed that they went extinct due to changes in their natural environment. The Spectacled Bear is believed to be related to them.
The Cave Bear is believed that became extinct about 27,500 years ago. The loss of it is being blamed on the Ice Age. Remains around Europe have confirmed that it did live in this particular part of the world. DNA testing has also shown that it was very closely related to the Grizzly Bear genetically. Since the fossils were found in caves, that is where they name for them came from.
You may have heard about the Kolponomos, which is an extinct genus of marine bears and it is believed that they became extinct about 20 million years ago. In 1960 a paleontologist found remains of what they thought was a dinosaur. After plenty of research and testing though it was determined to be a type of extinct bear no one had found before. Only three of them have been found since that time. All that has been found are pieces of the skeletal remains though for all of them so the exact design of the body is still unknown.
It is believed that these types of extinct bears were omnivores just like those out there today. That means they consume both plants and animals. Many experts believe that starvation in the winter months could account for why some species of bears became extinct. They also speculate that those that now hibernate learned to do so as a way to survive the long winters without enough food to survive on. Hibernating allowed them to store food and to conserve energy.
It is believed these and perhaps other types of extinct bear species weren’t able to evolve with their new environment. Changes that took place on Earth including meteor showers and the Ice Age definitely changed what was offered to them in the way of food. Areas could have been blocked off preventing them from moving to locations where other bears were able to successfully survive.
The study of extinct bear species is very interesting. Many researchers believe there are many more fossils out there that we may one day find. Their evidence suggests that some of these early bears were more like the size of large breed dogs that we know today. As new information becomes available you should pay attention to it. Learning about the past of these species of bears is quite fascinating.
The fact that there are extinct bear species in our history means we should do all we can to protect those that do remain. Without our help they too can end up being a part of the past instead of a part of history. There are plenty of ways all of us can lend a hand to such a worthy cause. Being able to protect their natural environment and to prevent the illegal killing of bears will go a long way to helping them stay on Earth.
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