[71] Since that same year, the European breed registry for sun bears is kept in the Cologne Zoological Garden, Germany. They are typically found at low altitudes, such as below 1,200 m (3,900 ft) in western Thailand and peninsular Malaysia. Helarctos Malayanus. The world’s smallest species of bear, the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), has been classed as Vulnerable, while the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) remains in the Endangered category on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.The sun bear’s new status has been accepted for inclusion in the 2007 IUCN Red List. In its natural habitat, it is an opportunistic omnivore. [8][37] Sun bears stand on their hindfeet for a broader view of their surroundings or smell far-off objects; they try to intimidate their enemies by displaying the chest patch if threatened. “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” There’s a lot to learn about some of the world’s most feared predators. [8][35][36] The sun bear is an excellent climber; it sunbathes or sleeps in trees 2 to 7 metres (7 to 23 feet) above the ground. The IUCN has listed this species as vulnerable. The spectacled bear is the only bear native to South America and is the largest land carnivore on that part of the continent, although as little as 5% of its diet is composed of meat. Their range is prob­a­bly greater than what is ac­tu­ally known. Generally nocturnal, the tree-climbing sun bear is shy and retiring but quite intelligent. [8][3] Infants are greyish black with a pale brown or white snout and the chest patch is dirty white; the coat of older juveniles may be dark brown. sweet potatoes [From the resemblance of the chest marking to an image of the rising or setting sun.] [3][8][26] It is stockily built, with large paws, strongly curved claws, small rounded ears and a short snout. They occur in montane areas in northeast India, but may not extend farther north into the unfavourable and colder Himalayan region; their distribution might be restricted to the northwest due to competition with sloth bears. [19] Noting the production of fertile hybrids between sun bears and sloth bears (Melursus ursinus), it was proposed that Helarctos be treated as a synonym of Melursus. [3][8] Vocalisations include grunts and snuffles while foraging for insects, and roars similar to those of a male orangutan during the breeding season; less commonly they may give out short barks (like a rhinoceros) when they are surprised. Vulnerable [3][26] Sun bears can expose the patch while standing on their hindfeet as a threat display against enemies. It is believed sun bears can delay implantation, meaning the fertilized egg reaches the uterus in a dormant state and remains there for several months before becoming active. These bears are threatened by heavy deforestation and illegal hunting for food and the wildlife trade; they are also harmed in conflicts with humans when they enter farmlands, plantations and orchards. sun bear n a small bear, Helarctos malayanus, of tropical forests in S and SE Asia, having a black coat and a yellowish snout and feeding mostly on honey and insects, (Also called) honey bear Some individuals may even lack the patch. A small, mainly nocturnal bear that has a brownish-black coat with a light-colored mark on the chest, native to Southeast Asia. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” Quiz. [11] Two subspecies have been proposed on the basis of variations in size:[12][13], H. anmamiticus, described by Pierre Marie Heude in 1901 from Annam, is not considered a distinct species, but is subordinated (a junior synonym) to H. m. The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is a species in the family Ursidae occurring in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Habitat Sun bears are found in dense lowland tropical forests. ~, Helarctos malayanus Subspecies Borneo ~ Helarctos malayanus euryspilus It is easily tamed. Sun bears tear open hollow trees with their long, sharp claws and teeth in search of wild bees and honey. [72], Bear from tropical forests of Southeast Asia, 10.1644/1545-1410(2002)696<0001:HM>2.0.CO;2, "XVII. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/animal/sun-bear, San Diego Zoo - Animals and Plants - Sun Bear. 2 Either of two Asian bears, the sloth bear, Melursus ursinus, and the sun bear, Helarctos malayanus. Mangroves may be inhabited, but usually only when they are close to preferred habitat types. Lifespan in captivity is generally over 20 years; one individual lived for nearly 31 years. Helarctos malayanus, family Ursidae ‘The lineages leading to the remaining species - the brown bear the black bear the sun bear and the sloth bear - … However, to make things ‘easier’ for identification: both species are black, both have a light mark on their chest, and both bears pretty much share the same habitat and range in Thailand. [69], The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, founded by Wong Siew Te in Sabah (Malaysia) in 2008, aims to work for the welfare of sun bears rescued from poor conditions in captivity and spread awareness about their conservation. Cubs are kept on buttress roots at the base of trees until they learn how to walk and climb properly. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. Sun bears are located in southeast Asia in countries including Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and the islands of Borneo, Sumatra and Java. [1] Population densities vary from 4.3 and 5.9 individuals per 100 km2 (39 sq mi) in Khao Yai National Park (Thailand) to 26 individuals per 100 km2 (39 sq mi) in the Harapan Rainforest in southern Sumatra. Test your knowledge with this quiz. Helarctos malayanus en bear found in tropical forest habitats of Southeast Asia it specie di animale della famiglia Ursidae @wikidata. Please consider giving a credit hyperlink to https://www.goodfreephotos.com if you use the photos on this site using the attribution code in the below box. Sun bears get their name from the characteristic orange to cream coloured chest patch. [59], In the past sun bears ranged from Borneo and Sumatra in the north and Assam in the northwest to northeastern Vietnam in the northeast and at least Yunnan Province (China) in the east. Poaching is common in several countries in the region. Helarc­tos malayanus ranges from the east­ern Hi­malayas to Szechuan in China, then south­ward through­out Burma, parts of In­dochina and the Malayan penin­sula. [37] A study published in 2019 described skillful mimicry of facial expressions by sun bears, with precision comparable to that seen in some primates (such as gorillas and humans). [39][40], Sun bears are shy and reclusive animals, and usually do not attack humans unless provoked to do so, or if they are injured or with their cubs; their timid nature led these bears to be tamed often and kept as pets in the past. Litters comprise one or two cubs that remain with their mother for around three years. Genus: Helarctos. Reproduction is dioecious.They rely on running to move around. any small lustrous beetle of the genus Amara. Numbers are especially low in Bangladesh and China, and populations in Vietnam are feared to decline severely by 50–80% in the next 30 years. [1], These bears dwell primarily in two main types of forests throughout their range: deciduous and seasonally evergreen forests to the north of the Isthmus of Kra, and non-seasonal evergreen forests in Indonesia and Malaysia. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [48] A study in Central Borneo revealed that sun bears play an important role in the seed dispersal of Canarium pilosum (a tree in the family Burseraceae). [16][17] Genetic differences between the two subspecies are obscure. The Malayan Sun Bear or Beruang Matahari is scientifically known as Helarctos malayanus and belongs to the family Ursidae. The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), also known as the honey bear, is a bear found primarily in the tropical rainforest (the dense lowland forests) in Southeast Asia; North-East India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Southern China, Peninsular Malaysia, … Subspecies: H. malayanus, H. euryspilus. Offspring remain with their mother for nearly the first three years of their lives. That means it eats everything it sees - imagine a bear in a supermarket grabbing everything! Updates? They breed throughout the year; individuals become sexually mature at two to four years of age. Sun bears grow to only about half the size of an American black bear. Also called honey bear, Malayan sun bear. [30] The sympatric Asian black bear has cream-coloured chest markings of a similar shape as those of sun bears; a 2008 study discussed differences in claw markings of both bears as a means of identification. [50] Sun bears have been reported preying on poultry and livestock. [49] Sun bears eat the centre of coconut palms, and crush oil-rich seeds such as acorns. noun (Zoöl.) [3][8] Sun bears do not seem to hibernate, possibly because food resources are available the whole year throughout the range. The fur is generally jet-black, but can vary from grey to red. The most arboreal (tree-living) of all bears, the sun bear is an excellent climber and sunbathes or sleeps in trees 2 to 7 metres (7 to 23 feet) above the ground. The bear (Helarctos, or Ursus, malayanus) is often tamed as a pet when young but becomes bad-tempered and dangerous as an adult. malayanus. [4][5] The generic name Helarctos comes from two Greek words: ήλιος (hēlios, 'related to the sun') and αρκτος (arctos, 'bear'). [1] They occupy home ranges of varying sizes in different areas, ranging from 7 to 27 square kilometres (2 1⁄2 to 10 1⁄2 square miles) in Borneo and peninsular Malaysia; a study in Ulu Segama Forest Reserve in Sabah (Malaysia) gave the sizes of ranges as 8.7–20.9 km2 (3 3⁄8–8 1⁄16 sq mi). [1][41] Tigers are major predators; dholes and leopards have also been recorded preying on sun bears but cases are relatively fewer. The hair is silky and fine, and is the shortest of all bear species, suiting their hot tropical habitat. [18] In 2002, Christopher Fitzgerald and Paul Krausman (of the American Society of Mammalogists) considered the sun bear monotypic. Helarctos definition is - a genus of mammals (family Ursidae). Cubs younger than two months are dependent on external simulation for defecation. It is mainly active during the day, though nocturnality might be more common in areas frequented by humans. [3][34] Reported lengths for pregnancies vary from 95 to 240 days; pregnancy tends to be longer in zoos in temperate climate possibly due to delay in implantation or fertilisation. Sun bears get their name from the characteristic orange to cream coloured chest patch. [1][60], According to the IUCN Bear Specialist Group, sun bear populations have fallen by an estimated 35% in the last three decades. Other light features (often including its muzzle and feet) contrast with its black coat of short, coarse fur. [45][46] They forage mostly at night. Its large forepaws bear long, curved claws, which it uses for tearing or digging in its search for insect nests and colonies, particularly those of bees and termites. [8][37][38] It is also an efficient swimmer. a small forest-dwelling bear (Ursus malayanus synonym Helarctos malayanus) of southeastern Asia that has short glossy black fur with a lighter… See the full definition [67] Protective laws have shown little success in controlling these threats, especially due to poor execution and high potential for gains by the trade. Origin Early 19th century; earliest use found in Edward Griffith (1790–1858), naturalist. [8][44] Vertebrates such as birds, deer, eggs and reptiles may be eaten occasionally. [1][26] Fossil remains suggest their occurrence farther north in the Pleistocene; sun bears may have occurred as far south as Java (Indonesia) in the middle to late Pleistocene. Sun bears were killed by shooting or administering poison to protect coconut and snakefruit plantations in East Kalimantan. [3][27] They are typically solitary but are sometimes seen in pairs (such as mothers and cubs). Bear definition in English dictionary, Bear meaning, synonyms, see also 'bear down',bear hug',bear arms',ant bear'. Enrich your vocabulary with the English Definition dictionary Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Sun bear, also called bruang, honey bear, or Malayan sun bear, smallest member of the family Ursidae, found in Southeast Asian forests. Called also bruang, and Malayan bear. [3], The phylogenetic relationships among ursid species have remained ambiguous over the years. The sun bear is named so for its characteristic orange to cream coloured, crescent-like chest patch. [1][3] Their presence in China was confirmed after years in 2017 when they were sighted in Yingjiang County of Yunnan Province (China). [3][37], Sun bears are found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia; the range is bound by northeastern India to the north and extends south to southeast through Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam in mainland Asia to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia to the south. sun bear: A bear (Helarctos malayanus) native to Southeast Asian forests, having black fur with a gray to orange muzzle and a tawny, crescent-shaped chest marking. What does it eat? [27][32] The teeth are very large, especially the canines, and the bite force is high relative to its body size for reasons not well understood; a possible explanation could be its frequent opening of tropical hardwood trees with its powerful jaws and claws in pursuit of insects, larvae, or honey. [1] With the exception of Sarawak (Malaysia) and Cambodia, the sun bear is legally protected from hunting in its whole range. The fur is generally jet-black, but can vary from grey to red. 34. an act of holding fast with the hand or other physical means; grasp; grip: a good hold on the rope. The ~ (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest bear, weighing 27 to 65 kg (60 to 145 lbs). [1][26] Compared to other continents, southeastern Asia has undergone severe depletion in forest cover over the past few decades (by almost 12% between 1990 and 2010); this has resulted in substantial habitat loss for forest-dependent species such as sun bears. Helarctos Scientific Name Helarctos malayanus Sun Bear Conservation Status. Their range is probably greater than what is actually known (Sanderson, 1972; Ward and Kynaston, 1995). [37] Oil palms are nutritious but not enough for subsistence. [53] Sun bears are extinct in Singapore. [7][8] 'Honey bear' can also refer to the kinkajou. Today they have been eliminated from majority of their erstwhile range, especially in Thailand; populations are declining in most of the range countries. Its unique morphology—inward-turned front feet, flattened chest, powerful forelimbs with large claws—suggests adaptations for climbing. A crest is seen on the sides of the neck and a whorl occurs in the centre of the breast patch. a species of bear (Helarctos Malayanus) native of Southern Asia and Borneo. Disclaimer. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. A 2014 report documented rampant poaching and trade in sun bear parts in Sarawak, more than anywhere else in Malaysia; the researchers recommended stricter legislations in the state to protect local sun bears. This explains why the gestation period can be anything from 95 to 240 days. [9], The sun bear was first described in 1821 from Sumatra by British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, who gave it the scientific name Ursus malayanus. noun (Zoöl.) The bear species most commonly farmed for bile is the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), although the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), brown bear (Ursus arctos) and every other species are also used (the only exception being the Giant Panda which does not produce UDCA). [3][34] They are mainly active during the day, though nocturnality might be more common in areas frequented by humans. The brown bear/polar bear lineage was estimated to have diverged from the two black bears/sun bear lineage around 5.54 to 6.72 million years ago; the sun bear appears to have diverged from the two black bears 5.09–6.26 mya. The underfur is particularly thick and black in adults, while the guard hairs are lighter. It is the smallest bear, standing nearly 70 centimetres (28 inches) at the shoulder and weighing 25–65 kilograms (55–143 pounds). A bear (Helarctos malayanus) native to Southeast Asian forests, having black fur with a gray to orange muzzle and a tawny, crescent-shaped chest marking. Sun bear, also called bruang, honey bear, or Malayan sun bear, smallest member of the family Ursidae, found in Southeast Asian forests. The sun bear is sympatric with the Asian black bear throughout the remaining areas in the mainland range featuring a mix of seasonal forest types, with monthly rainfall below 100 mm (4 in) for a long spell of three to seven months. sun bear in British English. [37] Cubs are born deaf with eyes closed. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The researchers noted the need for further study to fully resolve the relationship. [14] In 1906, Richard Lydekker proposed another subspecies by the name H. m. wardii for a sun bear skull, noting its similarities to a skull from Tibet with a thicker coat; however the Tibetan specimen was later found to be an Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Its unique morpholo… Other items of its omnivorous diet include fruit, honey, and small vertebrates. The major habitats in southern Thailand and peninsular Malaysia are moist evergreen forests, with more or less non-varying climate and heavy rainfall throughout the year, and low-lying or montane dipterocarp forests. ( Sander­son, 1972; Ward and Ky­nas­ton, 1995) Biogeographic Regions. It would get: honey; fruits - e.g. It is not required but it'd be much appreciated. [4][31], During feeding, the sun bear can extend its exceptionally long tongue by 20–25 cm (8–10 in) to extract insects and honey. [70] The Malayan sun bears are part of an international captive-breeding program and a Species Survival Plan under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since late 1994. Thailand is home to two species of bear, the Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) also known as the Moon Bear, and the Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) also known as Honey Bear.That seems easy enough! It is stockily built, with large paws, strongly curved claws, small rounded ears and a short snout. [47] In a study in the forests of Kalimantan, fruits of Moraceae, Burseraceae and Myrtaceae species made up more than 50% of the fruit diet; in times of fruit scarcity, sun bears switched to a more insectivorous diet. The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is a species in the family Ursidae occurring in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Adults weigh 25–65 kilograms (55–143 pounds). In mountainous areas, Asian black bears are more common than sun bears, probably due to scarcity of invertebrates to feed on. All free photos on this site are public domain. figs, coconuts, bananas; vegetables - e.g. It is found in Southeast Asia, including the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. sun bear - definition and meaning It weighs only 27–65 kg (59–143 pounds) and grows 1–1.2 m (3.3–4 feet) long with a 5-centimetre (2-inch) tail. Sun bears tend to remain solitary but sometimes occur in pairs (such as a mother and her cub). Heavy deforestation (due to agriculture, logging and forest fires) and hunting for wildlife trade are severe threats throughout the range; human-bear conflicts are a relatively minor threat. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Being omnivores, sun bears have a broad diet including ants, bees, beetles, honey, termites and plant material such as seeds and several kinds of fruits; vertebrates such as birds and deer are also eaten occasionally. 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