Thursday, November 15, 2007
Spectacled bears wear shaggy fur that is black, brown, or sometimes reddish. They are so named for the whitish to yellowish rings that encircle their eyes, resembling large eyeglasses. These lines, however, don't always fully encircle the eyes, and some individuals lack the markings altogether. Spectacled bears, also called Andean bears, are among the smallest members of the family Ursidae.Females rarely weigh more than 180 pounds (82 kilograms). The diminutive spectacled bear makes its home in the dense Andean jungles of South America, and it has the distinction of being the continent’s only bear. Population data are sketchy, but some estimates suggest fewer than 3,000 spectacled bears may remain in the wild today.