Sloth Bear

Melursus Ursinus

Classification

Domain Eukarya- All of the organisms in the domain are multi-cellular. All of them have the ability to move at one point in their life. They are heterotrophs which means they don't make energy on their own. They don't have cell walls. The animals animals all have skeletal support. Almost all of the animals reproduce sexually.

Kingdom Anamalia- This kingdom does not contain prokartyotes. All of the membersare multi-cellular. And eat other organisms for energy, heterotrophs. Most digest in an internal cavity. There cells have no cell wall and the cells of adults contain two copies of the genetic material,diploid. All of the animals reproduce sexually.

Phylum Chordata- These organisms have bilateral symmetry which means they have a definite right and left side. Their body is segmented which means it is divided. They have three germ layers, the ectorderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. Its heart is on its underside. These organisms have either bony or cartilaginous endoskeleton.

Subphylum Vertebrata- The organisms in this subphylum have a muscular, perforated pharnyx, which is a membrane- lined cavity behind the nose and mouth, connecting them to the esophagus and are usually found in fish. Their movement is provided by muscles that are attached to the endoskeleton. They also have a digestive system.

Class Mammalia- This class has about 5000 species. Each species has 3 middle ear bones mainly called the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. All species would also have hair and mammary glands which help produce milk. Different mammals have adapted to live in nearly every type of habitat, terrestrial and aquatic.

Order Carnivora- The members of the order Carnivora have many different rypes of food habits. They are spread out across the world and live in many different places. Carnivores tend to be medium-sized animals, not too small and not to big.

Family Ursidae- This family is a bear family. Bears are mostly large animals. They consist of 8 different species in 5 different genera. They are found on all the continents except Antarctica and Australia. They mainly live in the northern hemisphere. Bears are mostly brown, black, or white. Some have white marks on their chest or face.

Genus Melurus- Sloth Bear

Species Melursus Ursinus- Sloth Bears have a shaggy black coat with long snouts. Their molars are broad and flat. Their shape is a little awkward with big feet and enourmous claws.

General Description

Height: The sloth bear can grow up to two to three feet high from the ground to the shoulder.

Length: They can reach a length of five to six feet. Their tail is 5-6 inches long.

Weight: Sloth bears can weigh from 120 lbs. which would be the lightest female to 130 lbs. which would be the heaviest male.

Color: They are usually black or brown on the top and white on their belly.

Natural Range: Sloth bears live in India, Sri Lanka, southern Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

Diet: The sloth bear is an omnivore. They eat a variety of insects such as termites. They also eat sugarcane, carrion, birds' eggs, fruit, and flowers. Their diet varies with the different seasons.

Habitat Description: They mostly live in tropical areas. Mostly where there is either forested area or grasslands. They live in lower elevations. Also they, prefer dry forests with rocky outcrops.

Predators: The sloth bears predators are tigers, wolves, and humans. Humans are the greatest threat because they use their gall bladder for medicine in the east.

Physical Adaptations

Its long claws helps it to forage trees for different types of fruit and flowers. They have a sticky tongue which helps it to eat the termites as soon as it breaks open their nests. The sloth bear has really hard blowing so it can get rid of dust when it is going hunting. Its limbs are short and powerful which helps them to break the termite nests. Since it has no upper incisors it can have an insect based diet. Also they have long, non-retractable which helps to demolish the insect nests. Its shaggy black coat helps it to camouflage into the forest at night when they are most active.

Behavioral Adaptations

They are nocturnal which helps them find food because termites are more active at night. When the bear feels threatened it will defend itself by standing on its hind legs. The mother will look after her cubs for a few months to make sure they know how to survive in the wild. During the day they sleep in caves by the riverside to avoid predators. They do not hibernate because their prey is available year round. They use a lot of facial signals to communicate with each other which helps them to locate food and locate others.

References

Bies, L. 2002. "Melursus ursinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Melursus_ursinus/


Burton, M. (2002). Sloth bear. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 17, pp. 2403-2405). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.


Encyclopedia of Life. Available from http://www.eol.org. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.

Friends of the National Zoo. (1999). Sloth bear. Retrieved March 18, 2015, from asia trail website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/asiatrail/slothbears/factsheet.cfm


San Diego Zoo Global. (2015). Mammals sloth bear. Retrieved March 14, 2015, from San Diego Animals website: http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/sloth-bear


Theanimalfiles. (2006). Sloth bear. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from The Animal Files website: http://www.theanimalfiles.com/mammals/carnivores/bear_sloth.html