Q:

What is the only bear species found in the southern hemisphere?

A:

The spectacled bear is the only species of bear that lives in the Southern Hemisphere. They are also the smallest species of bear, with females only weighing 180 pounds at maturity and males reaching 340 pounds. They are named for the yellowish rings around their eyes.

Spectacled bears are the only surviving members of the short-faced bear family. This family of bear species used to roam across North and South America during the last Ice Age.

Spectacled bears live in the Andes. They are primarily vegetarians and consume berries, fruits, honey and cacti. They supplement their diets with meat from rodents, birds and sometimes small cows. They can climb very well and often spend time up in trees. They build platforms in the trees to rest on.


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