Sloth Bear

Melursus ursinus


Kingdom Animalia: All are multicellular, heterotrophs, all animals can move.

Phylum Chordata: Have bilateral symmetry and a digestive system chordates have a notochord (a rod that extends when the body is fully developed)

Sub phylum Vertebrata: A backbone that runs from head to tail, the vertebrae replace the notochord by "stiffening" the notochord, fishes reptiles, etc. have them

Class Mammalia: All of these animals have hair and produce milk

Order Carnivora: These animals have teeth specifically for eating meat. They have diverse food habits. Carnivores are flesh eating animals.

Family Ursidae: This group is bears and usually large mammals.

Genus Melursus

Species: Melursus ursinus

General Discription

Weight: On average, 275-330 pounds

Length: 1.5 to 1.9 m

Height: On average up to 6 ft. (depending on gender)

Color: The sloth bears main color is a black/brown to help blend in with the trees of the rain forest

Natural Range: You will find sloth bears around India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka

Diet: Sloths mainly eat Termites and larvae.

Habitat Description: You will find sloth bears mainly in tropical areas.

Predators: Leopards and Tigers are Sloth bear's main predators.

Physical Adaptation

Sloth bears have a shaggy black coat. This helps with dealing with cold conditions. Sloth bears also have extremely long tongues, a mobile snout the long tongues which helps with their diets. Sloth bears also have a muzzle. The muzzle is greyish/whitish. The muzzle is used to suck up termites like a vacuum cleaner. This helps get its food fast and convenient. Sloth bears have well developed claws mainly used for climbing trees.

Behavioral Adaptations

Sloths are excellent climbers but they do not climb to escape from danger. Sloths do not hibernate but have inactivity during rainy periods. Sloth bears are shy and have bad eyesight and hearing. This causes humans to draw near and they realize that a human is near at the last second. They will do anything to defend themselves. Because sloths have poor hearing and eyesight they have excellent sense of smell.


Bies, L. 2002. "Melursus ursinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed

March 11, 2015 at

Bies, L. (2002, February 4). Sloth bear [Photograph]. Retrieved from

Burton, M. (2002). Sloth bear. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed.,

Vol. 17, pp. 2403-2405). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Slot bear [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Sloth bear [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Sloth bear [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sloth Bears. (2002, February 4). Retrieved from Animal Diversity Web website: