Monday, September 7

Bears - Zoo Unit Study

Taking advantage of the nice weather, we took some time to check out the bears on our field trip today.  The bears at the zoo don't really hibernate like the ones in nature, but these guys looked pretty darn cozy....   One of them even graced us with a swim-by!

This is one of the units from Zoo Studies!  Sixteen different units focus on fourteen different animals, plus classification / taxonomy and animal adaptations.  Activities include : reading, writing, research, online learning, videos, crafts, and more!  

All bears have certain things in common. They are big and furry. They have live babies called cubs, which they nurse. They have very powerful legs. They eat a variety of things from nuts and berries to bugs and fish. They all belong to this family:
  • Kingdom - Animalia 
  • Phylum - Chordata 
  • Class - Mammalia 
  • Order - Carnivora
  • Family - Ursidae
Younger Kids
Older Kids
  1. How many different kinds of bears are there and what makes each kind special?
    1. Brown and Grizzly Bears- Ursus arctos - Did you know these two bears are really the same species?  
    2. Polar Bears - (Ursus maritimus) -Do you like cold weather? Well Polar Bears do! And they have hair that is more like feathers than fur!  
    3. Giant Pandas - (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)- These bears were once placed in
    4. the same family as the raccoons! 
    5. Asiatic Black Bears - (Ursus thibetanus) -This bears Latin name means "Moon Bear of the Tibet". Why do you think that is? 
    6. Spectacled Bears - (Tremarctos ornatus) -Is this bear really wearing glasses? 
    7. Sloth Bears - (Melursus ursinus) - This bear's favorite snack is termites. Yum! 
    8. Sun Bears - (Helarctos malayanus) - This bear is the smallest and is also called the Honey bear. 
  2. Label a map with the areas each bear lives in. Use a different map or color for each species of bear.
  3. Find out who the Teddy bear is named after. (Theodore Roosevelt) Why is the teddy Bear named for him?

Watch the following videos, and then use the comprehension questions below. 

  1. Name three ecosystems in which brown bears live. (Answer: Rivers, meadows, and forests)
  2. What else do brown bears use their sense of smell for besides sensing danger? (Answer: Communicating with other bears)
  3. List three of the things brown bears eat. (Answer: Sedge grass, flies, salmon)
  4. What skills do brown bear parents teach cubs? (Answer: Survival, hunting, and how to find shelter)
  5. What animals often live in the same ecosystems with brown bears? (Answers include: Squirrels, wolves, deer, fish, bald eagles)
  6. How did the grizzly bear gets its name? (Answer: Because the silver tips on its fur give it a “grizzled” appearance.)
  7. What features set a grizzly bear apart from a black bear? (Answer: Grizzly bears have a large hump on their shoulders right behind their heads. Grizzly bears have claws that are twice as large as the black bear’s. Grizzly bears have curved profiles, while black bears have straighter profiles.)
  8. What does a grizzly bear use its muscular shoulder hump for? (Answer: For help in digging up their food.)
  9. How fast can a grizzly bear run? (Answer: Between 35 and 40 miles an hour.)
  10. How much can a grizzly bear weigh? (Answer: Up to 700 pounds.)
  11. Does a grizzly bear eat a lot of meat? (Answer: No, 85% of its diet consists of vegetables.)
  12. How much distance does a grizzly bear travel in a day? (Answer: Up to 20 or 30 miles.)

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