Gobi bear

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Gobi bear
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: U. arctos
Subspecies: U. a. gobiensis
Trinomial name
Ursus arctos gobiensis
Sokolov & Orlov, 1992

The Gobi bear, Ursus arctos gobiensis (known in Mongolian as the mazaalai / Мазаалай) is a subspecies of the brown bear, Ursus arctos, that is found in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. It is listed as critically endangered by Mongolian Redbook of Endangered Species and by the Zoological Society of London using IUCN standards, the population included less than 50 adults and were separated by enough distance.[1]

"Break camp about 9.30 a.m. and head for the Atis Mountains. We cross a large open plain and then enter a steep-sided, black, shale-strewn valley. Just before we entered the valley we discovered the footprints of the extremely rare Gobi Bear (ursus gobiensis)[there are presumed to be approximately only thirty-two in the world and there is continuing debate among scientists over whether they are a true species or a sub-species]."[2]

Gobi bears mainly eat roots, berries, and other plants, sometimes rodents, there were no evidence that they ate large mammals. Small compared to other brown bear subspecies, adult males weigh 96 – 138 kg (212 - 304 lb) and females 51‐78 kg (112 - 172 lb)[3]

The Gobi brown bear is sometimes classified as being of the same subspecies as the Tibetan blue bear; this is based on morphological similarities, and the belief that the desert-dwelling Gobi bear represents a relict population of the blue bear. However, the Gobi bear is sometimes classified as its own subspecies, and closely resembles other Asian brown bears.