Bears are a large, short-tailed carnivore found in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Although clumsy in appearance, bears can move surprisingly fast, even through dense cover that would seriously impede a human or a horse. Their senses of sight and hearing, however, are poorly developed, and most hunting is done by smell. Despite their bulk, most bears climb with ease and swim strongly. Most bears eat large amounts of food before entering a den for a period of deep sleep during the winter. Bears, however, lack the physiological characteristics (lower heart rate, body temperature, breathing rate, and blood pressure) exhibited by animals that truly hibernate. Bears are solitary, except during the mating season. Because of their large size, bears have few natural enemies in the wild. Most mortality occurs because of hunting by humans.
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