Monday, March 25, 2013

Atlas Bear

The Atlas Bear was the only Bear native to the continent of Africa. A subspecies of the Brown Bear (that is found in nearby European and Asian countries), these large mammals once roamed the mountains that give it its name.

The story of these Bears is a tragic one. They lived throughout Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, but once the Romans arrived their numbers were drastically reduced. The Atlas Bears were hunted as a sport, and were even captured to be used in arena games. By the end of the Roman era the Bears were fragmented and rare. They did hang around for several more centuries, but were finally finished off in the late 1800s.

Atlas Bears were large, weighing up to 1,000lbs. They had long-ish black/brown fur and short muzzles. Some scientists believe they should be their own separate species, but for now they remain classified with the Brown Bears.

IUCN Status : Extinct since the late 1800s.
Location : Northern Africa
Size : Height around 60in (1.5m), Weight up to 1000lbs (453kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Ursidae -- Genus : Ursus -- Species : U. arctos -- Subspecies : U. a. crowtheri
Image : MNN

1 comment:

  1. Very tragic indeed. I wish people could have been a little more conscious about the future of animals that have now become extinct. Instead, they just took their existence for granted.


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