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Smallest member (Helarctos malayanus) of the bear family (Ursidae), found in South Asian forests. Nocturnal and tree-climbing, the sun bear weighs 60–140 lbs (27–64 kg) and is 3–4 ft (1–1.2 m) long, with a 2-in. (5-cm) tail, large forepaws, and short black fur with an orange-yellow crescent on the chest. It uses its long, curved claws to tear or dig for insect nests, particularly those of bees and termites. It also eats fruit, honey, and small vertebrates. The sun bear is shy and intelligent; legends say that its chest crescent represents the sun.
Variants of SUN BEAR
sun bear or honey bear
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sun bear, visit Britannica.com.