Facts About Bears: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

You may have seen a bear at the zoo, but you probably didn't think much about what they eat, how they live in the wild, or where to find them. This lesson will teach you about different kinds of bears and how they live.

What are Bears?

You don't have huge paws, a furry body, a snout and weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds, but you might like to eat things like fish, honey, and berries. If you do, then you have something in common with bears! These are just a few things bears like to munch on, and different kinds of bears like to eat different kinds of things. Some even steal human food from garbage cans if it's available, but our leftovers are not part of their natural diet.

Bears are large mammals that drink their mother's milk as babies and have fur. They also have a snout and short, stubby tails.

The smallest bears are sun bears and weigh about a hundred pounds, while polar bears are the largest and can weigh over 1,500 pounds! That's about the same as three large male lions!

Sun Bear
Sun bear

Most bears live between 20 and 30 years, which is short compared to people in the Unites States, who usually live to be a little over 77 years old! Bears' eyesight is as good as ours, if not better, and they also have a great sense of smell. They use both these senses to hunt and find food.

What do Bears Eat?

If you and seven of your friends listed your favorite foods, you would probably like some of the same things, like macaroni and cheese, but wouldn't agree on everything, like broccoli. Bears are the same, and though they like to eat some of the same things, they don't all eat the exact same food, either.

Brown Bears Catching Fish
Brown Bears Fishing

Most bears, like brown bears and black bears, are omnivores, meaning they eat meat and some plants. Most eat insects, grasses, roots, berries, and other animals like birds, fish and rodents. Some bears also like honey and termites. Giant panda bears are also omnivores, but eat almost nothing but bamboo, which is a type of thick grass! Polar bears are the opposite and eat meat, like seals and dead whales. This makes them carnivores, an organism that eats mostly meat.

Where do Bears Live?

Bears are found in North and South America, Asia, Europe and the Arctic, depending on the kind of bear. The bears that live in North America are the black bear, brown bear and polar bear.

Polar Bear
Polar Bear

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