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Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:00 pm
by Alpha Female
I thought this was a pretty interesting article. =3
There's a new titleholder for the biggest, baddest bear ever found.

A prehistoric South American giant short-faced bear tipped the scales at up to 3,500 pounds (1,600 kilograms) and towered at least 11 feet (3.4 meters) standing up, according to a new study.

The previous heavyweight was a North American giant short-faced bear—a related extinct species—that weighed up to 2,500 pounds (1,134 kilograms). The largest bear on record in modern times was a 2,200-pound (998-kilogram) polar bear shot in Alaska in the 19th century.

The South American giant short-faced bear roamed its namesake continent abcaout 500,000 to 2 million years ago and would have been the largest and most powerful meat-eater on land at the time, scientists say.

As meat-eaters go, "there's nothing else that even comes close" during the time period, said study co-author Blaine Schubert, a paleontologist at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.

"It just blew my mind how big it was."

The bear skeleton, found in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, in 1935, was recently reexamined by Schubert and study co-author Leopoldo Soibelzon, a paleontologist from Argentina who specializes in South American fossil bears.

By measuring its almost elephant-size humerus, or upper arm bone, the team was able to calculate the size of the rest of the bear's body, Schubert said.

Their analysis also revealed that the animal was an old male that had endured several serious injuries throughout his life.

For Bear, Size Matters
Less certain, however, is what and how these bears ate—and why they were so different from their North American cousins, Schubert noted.

For instance, the South American giant short-faced bear species started huge and became smaller over time, while the North American species grew bigger.

In South America, Schubert suspects, a glut in prey and a lack of competition combined to make the bear king of the continent. But as more meat-eaters evolved, short-faced bears adapted, becoming smaller and more omnivorous, like the modern-day black bear.

In North America, the short-faced bear's increasing size may have offered an advantage—its sheer heft may have scared off saber-toothed cats and other predators from their kills, the researchers speculate.

And the short-faced bear's reign in North America would have also coincided with an explosion in Ice Age megafauna, such as giant ground sloths, camels, and mammoths—all potential new food sources.

"We had an Africa here," Schubert said, and "it's gone now."
Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... s-science/

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:18 pm
by Thandi
Whoa, that's one big bear. X)

Thanks for sharing with us Alpha Female.

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:30 pm
by AlphaSasha
Thats a huge bear.... I would never want a bear like that near me. :shock:

Thanks for sharing!

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:39 pm
by -x-Zaroque-x-
Wow, indeed that is big, you get to see how brutal life was like in those days. >.<
Thank you for sharing!

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:04 pm
by CallingProphecy
11 feet!?Wow!That's a big bear!Thanks for sharing this,Alpha Female!

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:54 pm
by +Noctis+
That is a big bear indeed. I know I would want to come in contact with that. Thanks for sharing that interesting find.

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:16 am
by Masika
Wow, that's certainly a huge bear (bigger than I thought when I saw this thread title x3). Quite interesting how animals, such as a bear could of been such a large size many years ago. You can just tell by looking at the bone structure that it was probably a very powerful creature. Thanks for sharing, Alpha Female!

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:46 am
by lightshadowwolf223
"eye twitchs" Um all i can say is wow that's one big Arctodus simus also known as the short faced bear. That thing would scare me if i saw it in my back yard! :mrgreen:

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:49 pm
by Legendary-Taco
Oh boy, that's one big bear. I would defiantly not want to meet that bear x3
Thanks for sharing,
Alpha Female ^^

Re: Biggest Bear Ever Found

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:36 am
by Toralu
Wow this is really scary O.o imagine if you saw this huge creature in the middle of nowhere... I'd be scared to death.