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Former good article nominee Bear was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 14, 2009 Good article nominee Not listed
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Female bear a Sow, Male Bear a Boar?[edit]

I just read an article online where a female bear is called a sow, which I find very hard to believe. I did, however, find a couple of other online-sources that appear to confirm this. Does anyone have information on the topic? Thanks VetLH (talk) 07:54, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the very late reply, but in case anyone is still waiting, sow is the only identifier I have ever heard for an adult female bear, other than simply "female" or "mother". Found a ref fairly easily by googling "sow bear" [1]. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:47, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

"To this day, they play a prominent role in the arts"[edit]

As opposed to other animals? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:28, 12 November 2011 (UTC)


The name Bernard is derived from the Germanic element bern "bear" combined with hard "brave, hardy".-- (talk) 17:18, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 13 July 2012[edit]

The brown bear is not the national animal of Germany. That is the eagle.

Nordlander1 (talk) 20:59, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Removed, thanks. --NeilN talk to me 21:32, 13 July 2012 (UTC)


Paragraph 2 - "the remaining six species are omnivorous"; as omnivorous means they eat plants and animals, it is redundant to spell this out later in the sentence! I have removed the repetition.

Section Morphology, Paragraph 2 - As the Procyonidae are also plantigrade (and also the Mephitidae and Ailuridae?), I have added 'most'. Also amended wording for the picture of the bear's foot: removed 'rear' - bears are plantigrade, which means all 4 feet; if only hind feet they would have been defined as partially plantigrade.

Section Diet and interspecific interactions, Paragraph 2 - "Although (besides polar bears) both species of black bear ...": I have removed the bit about polar bears; it is completely unneccessary and somewhat misleading - to me, it implies, albeit weakly, that polar bears are black bears!

Section Relationship with humans, Paragraph 2 - "Bears may also come into conflict with humans where they raid crops or attack livestock.": Poor sentence construction; it is not explicitly clear whether it is humans or bears that are raiding the crops - I have rearranged word order.

PS Why is it that the problem is always with Paragraph 2?Glevum (talk) 12:13, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 November 2012[edit]

In the first paragraph, the information should read: Bears are found ON the continents of ... The preposition usage is incorrect. We find things are ON continents but IN counties, towns, cities, regions, etc. (talk) 20:58, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Done Minor grammar fix only. —KuyaBriBriTalk 22:06, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 12 November 2012[edit]

This line should be removed: "In Germanic culture, the bear was a symbol of the warrior, as is evident from the Old English term beorn, which can take the meaning of both "bear" and "warrior""

The comprehensive Dictionary of Old English, published by the University of Toronto, does not list "bear" or any derivative of "bear" as a possible definition of "beorn." This is the definitive authority in the field. The claim is simply false. Reinhard12 (talk) 13:50, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Done because I interpret your request to be a good faith challenge to uncited material. —KuyaBriBriTalk 15:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 13 November 2012[edit]

This should be deleted:

"as is evident from the Old English term beorn, which can take the meaning of both "bear" and "warrior"."

This is patently false. The Dictionary of Old English is *the* definitive scholarly source for Old English word use: if it does not attest the usage of the sense of a word in Old English, it does not exist. "Beorn" is never used to mean "bear" in OE, or anything like "bear". Citation of Colman does nothing to change that.

I'd further suggest that Colman herself does not support the thesis. Careful reading of Colman's note shows that the first occurrence of the *name* "Beorn" probably belonged to *Scandinavian* settlers in the later Old English period. But Scandinavian "Bjorn/Biorn" is Old English. Reinhard12 (talk) 02:30, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I am by no means an expert on this subject matter, but per the policy on verifiability, content must be verifiable, even if you are sure it is true. This was what I came up on in my attempt to verify the sentence in question:
  • Per the Colman source provided by Sasata (talk · contribs) ([2]), I accept that the Old English "beorn" and the North Germanic "bjorn" may be derived from and/or closely associated with the Scandinavian "biorn", which means "bear".
  • Nowhere in that source does it explicitly state that "beorn" can take the meaning of "bear". Maybe it is true and I don't know it because I'm not a subject matter expert. But content must be verifiable by anyone, not just subject matter experts.
  • Nowhere in that source does it explicitly state that "in Germanic culture the bear was a symbol of the warrior". In the absence of additional sources, this claim is original research.
I am removing the statement again based on the above, but am open to re-adding content referenced to the Colman source in accordance with my first bullet point above. I am also open to re-adding the sentence as it is presently worded if and only if it is properly referenced. I will say to Reinhard12 (talk · contribs) that because the DOE is behind a paywall it will be difficult for other users such as myself who don't have individual or institutional access to verify any claims you make as to its content. If you can find other, non-paywall sources that support your position that would be helpful. —KuyaBriBriTalk 23:20, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Request, "PIE"[edit]

In 'Etymology'. please add the abbreviation "PIE" in brackets after the first use, so that its subsequent use later makes sense. ie, change from;

The Proto-Indo-European word for bear, *h₂ŕ̥tḱos


The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word for bear, *h₂ŕ̥tḱos

That helps make sense of the later use of the abbreviation, in e.g. Thus some Indo-European language groups do not share the same PIE root..

Thanks. (talk) 08:02, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea. I changed the very first link, per this edit [3]. Does that work for you? Begoontalk 09:59, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. (talk) 10:25, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Distribution in Southern Hemisphere[edit]

Sorry I cannot fix this myself: this section should be corrected: the Spectacled Bear is not the only bear in the Southern Hemisphere (as seems to be implied), but the Sun Bear also extends in such a way in SE Asia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:52, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

I attempted to rephrase that section. Njaelkies Lea (d) 13:46, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 January 2013[edit]

In external links: please change Grizzly Bear Outreach Project to Western Wildlife Outreach. (They have changed their name. The link will still forward correctly)

Duiker22 (talk) 06:34, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Done. I also reworded it a bit to mention the Black Bear Outreach Project, since that seems equally relevant to the topic of this article. Rivertorch (talk) 08:33, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Do Bears Still Live in Africa Nowadays?[edit]

I remember on an episode of "Kratt's Creatures," someone did not believe that bears ever lived in Africa and asked why. I found out that bears actually DID live in Africa; that person just never saw or heard of any there or was convinced that they did not live there. Is this still true, or did all the bears that lived in Africa leave or die? Cbsteffen (talk) 6:19PM CST, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

There are no wild bears in Africa. The last ones seemed to have died out about 3-4 million years ago, and were never very numerous. Anaxial (talk) 11:16, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Atlas Bears were the last bears to live in Africa Dunkleosteus77 (talk) 03:08, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Atlas bears were introduced to Africa. They were not there naturally. - UtherSRG (talk) 04:11, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Life expectancy[edit]

At 24th of May the oldest living bear Andreas , estimated age 50 y.o. died in Florina Greece. Link in Greek only unfortunately: Could we write something you think? Soathana (talk) 09:40, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

I'd suggest that that more appropriately belongs at brown bear, since that what he seems to have been. Anaxial (talk) 13:34, 1 June 2013 (UTC)


shouldnt there be a section on the intelligence of bears? e.g. how they can be trained to do "tricks", or how the bear in china killed her cub and then herself to stop bile extraction, which if true is amazing... they are very smart animals. (talk) 15:02, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Reorganize intro[edit]

Trivial little facts like how they "forage much fermented fruit, which affects their behaviour" should be moved to the "Behavior" section instead of wasting space in the introduction — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:13, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


Does "ursine" refer to Ursinae or Ursidae? If the former, Ursine should redirect to Ursinae, not here. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:18, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

  • It depends on the context: in technical usage, it refers to Ursinae, but in everyday English, it refers to Ursidae. Anaxial (talk) 21:21, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
"Ursine" is used in everyday speech? Oh, are you referring to the adjective? That's still rather formal speech, isn't it? Anyway, the technical term is the noun. Hmm, but considering that we cannot disambiguate that, it's probably better to leave the redirect this way. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:52, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Bears in South America?[edit]

This article says that there are bears in South America. There is an article American black bear that does not mention South America. I can't find any information about bears in South America, neither where they are nor what sort, etc.

There should either be articles like North American bears and South American bears, or perhaps an article American bears that introduces all bears in the Americas, with links to articles with more information? Thanks, Hordaland (talk) 09:53, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

As stated in the article (under "distribution and habitat"), the spectacled bear is the only bear in South America. Anaxial (talk) 11:55, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! Sorry, I obviously didn't read carefully. Spectacled bear is a very informative article, thanks. --Hordaland (talk) 09:44, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Spectacle Bears are endemic in South America Dunkleosteus77 (talk) 03:09, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

"Spectacled", as the two previous respondents, from over 6 months ago, have already said. - UtherSRG (talk) 04:12, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Picture of Brown Bear in Moscow[edit]

In the bear sub species section, the picture of the brown bear in moscow is repeated.

Yes check.svg Done Anaxial (talk) 17:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

apex predator[edit]

User:BigCat82 as stated, "rm obviously incorrect info in unsourced content - with the exception of polar and kodiak bears the rest are not apex predators and are regular preys of other apex predators." This is a false statement and the edit should be reverted. Grizzly bears are apex predators and the brown bear is in most of its range. (talk) 02:11, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

source? Not only your statement saying ALL bears are apex predators is unsourced and multiple reliable sources suggest otherwise, and thus I removed it. In Asia, most species of bears (brown bears, slot bears, black bears etc) are regular prey items of tigers, as supported by multiple reliable sources I put into the article. Your edits in various articles saying ALL bears or ALL brown bears are apex predators are clearly false and unsourced, and you must refrain from doing so again. BigCat82 (talk) 08:27, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Intelligence, and dexterity info?[edit]

I know they can operate avehicle doorhandle just as easily as they can slice/peel them open. What has been done to test them? The old camping safety tip about tying your food up a tree was useless,as they can climb. Old circus acts had trained bears. Were the youtube vids of ninja bears, wielding branches real, iirc, Kung Fu Panda was based on a real bear? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 February 2015[edit]

The fourth paragraph of the etymology section: "Bear" was originally a euphemism for the creature, and was said by superstitious peasants who believed saying the actual term for "bear" would summon it. Because peasants avoided saying the original name, it has been lost to history and "bear" has replaced it. is a verbose explanation of Taboo deformation, which is already mentioned in the preceding paragraph with a link to the relevant Wiki page for anyone who needs an explanation. It is therefore redundant and should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:54, 7 February 2015‎ (UTC)

Simple typo: Nine is "nin" when discussing when some bears reach sexual maturity. Just cntrl-f (space)nin(space) and you will find it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, thanks. —Nizolan (talk) 00:26, 10 February 2015 (UTC)


In the "Classification" section is the dagger defined? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Bear. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

N Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 16:21, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 October 2015[edit]

Uhm, I don't know exactly how this works but I noticed the reference number 5 only has dead links, both the University of Pittsburgh link, and the Archived one. So I thought I'd let someone who knows what to do know by posting this. (talk) 06:07, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Fixed: Thanks for the head's up. I've replaced the archived version. Stickee (talk) 06:20, 13 October 2015 (UTC)