Lore

Bartal’s Bestiary - Bear


Description
Bears are large, omnivorous mammals with massive paws and bulky shoulders. When standing on four legs they measure roughly four feet at the shoulder, but when standing on their hind legs bears can reach over seven feet in height. Mature bears weigh close to eight hundred pounds, but older male bears often weigh well over a ton. They have thick coats of shaggy fur ranging in color from a light blonde or white through varying shades of brown and black. Bears have blocky heads with large muzzles filled with sharp teeth. They have poor eyesight, relying heavily on their superior sense of smell to identify food and threats. Their claws, which they use for hunting, digging, and marking, can reach over two inches in length.

Habitat
Bears are one of the most adaptable species and can be found in nearly every part of TerVarus. They are most common in the temperate northern forests and arctic regions as well as mountains, though subspecies can be found in the southern regions.

Behavior
Bears are diurnal creatures who are most active during the day and rest during the night. They often make their homes in caves or large hollows they dig in the soil beneath trees or boulders. Bears are solitary creatures, often claiming and defending territory from one another. Females breed every three to four years and have litters of one to four cubs. Though they are large and powerful creatures, bears are rarely aggressive unless they are hungry or feel threatened.

During the cold winter months of the northern territories when food is scarce, bears will often hibernate through the worst of the weather, rarely waking unless disturbed. Bears are particularly dangerous during early spring as they emerge from their dens, as they are in a severe state of starvation.

Diet
All bears are opportunistic omnivores, eating whatever food they come across, including carrion. They require massive amounts of food and eat constantly during their waking hours. Bears are one of the few terrestrial species to feed upon aquatic life and are capable of fishing using their massive paws. Bears have been known to eat humans if given the opportunity.

Predation
Adult bears have few natural predators, though cubs have been attacked and killed by larger predators. Humans often hunt bears for their heavy pelts and for their meat, which is described as rich and succulent. Humans are also known to kill bears if they feel their property and livestock are at risk of predation by the creatures.

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