A bear is a large mammal of the order Carnivora, family Ursidae. The adjective ursine is used to describe bears.
Common characteristics between bears include dense fur, a short tail, great ability of smell and hearing, five un-retractable claws, and long and shaggy fur.
Bears have a large body with powerful limbs. They walk very much like humans do. They have broad paws, long snouts, and round ears. Their teeth are used for defense and tools and depend on the diet of the bear. Their claws are used for ripping, digging, and catching.
Bears live in a variety of habitats from the tropics to the Arctic and from forests to snowfields. They are mainly omnivores, although some have a more specialised diet, such as polar bears. They eat lichens, roots, nuts, and berries. They can also go to a river or other body of water to capture fish. Bears will commonly travel far from food. Hunting times are usually in the dusk or the dawn except when humans are nearby.
Some of the large species, such as the Polar Bear and the Grizzly Bear are dangerous to humans especially in areas where they have become used to people, but in most part, bears are shy and are easily frightened of humans. They will, however, defend a cubs' nest ferociously.
The bear's courtship period is very brief. Bears reproduce seasonally, usually after hibernation. Cubs come out toothless, blind, and bald. The cubs, usually born in litters of 1-3, will stay with the mother for six months, where they will be fed by milk and will start hunting with the mother in three months. Then, they are weaned. However, they will still remain nearby for three years. The cubs are sexually mature at seven years. Normally, bears are very solitary and will not remain close together for long periods of time.