The area of a brown bear is very wide. In historical time it covered almost all country, and the bear met even in the forest-steppe. Now, with increase in the population, the area of its distribution was considerably narrowed.
The brown bear lives in east Carpathians, in a small number remained to Polesia and here and there on east suburbs of the Baltic republics. From the Finnish border to Beringov, the Okhotsk and Japanese seas he is found on all forest strip. There is no brown bear in steppes and deserts of the European part of the CIS, Kazakhstan and Central Asia, but he inhabits mountains of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Out of the CIS the brown bear remained in Tatra mountains, the Pyrenees, places in southeast Europe; besides — in Atlassky mountains, in North Africa, Forward Asia, Tibet, part in the Himalayas, northeast China and northern Japan. The bears very close to our brown are found in North America.
The body is heavy, seeming clumsy, the head big with a wide forehead, ears are hardly given from surrounding fur, a tail short, legs thick. When walking bears go into all foot (animals plantigrade); soles of legs naked. Teeth are massive, with numerous hillocks; the structure of teeth indicates prevalence of vegetable food.
Coloring at different subspecies various, generally dominate brown and grayish-brown tone of different degree of brightness, from light, whitish to dark-brown. Adults on a breast never have a sharp white spot; sometimes it is available for young people. Young people quite often in the basis of a neck have quite sharp white collar later disappearing absolutely or remaining in the form of unsharply limited light, whitish cross spot.
Males are much larger than females. Separate individuals reach the weight of 300 kg and more. Some subspecies are smaller. Newborns are weak, helpless and blind, eyes open in 2,5 — 3 weeks after the birth. By the beginning of the second year of life reach 15 — 40 kg of weight.
Winter fur very dense, with strongly developed underfur; summer — is more rare, shorter, more dim. At old bears the fur cover is shorter and more rough, than at young people. At some southern bears, for example Caucasian, in the summer the underfur absolutely is absent.
The period of a molt is very extended that depends part on climatic conditions of the district, and part from age and fatness of an animal. The beginning of a molt falls for April — June and proceeds quite often more than two months. In the Caucasus the molt proceeds considerably later, taking an early autumn. As a result of prolixity of the period of a molt and gradual change of indumentum, distinction in length and density of fur different seasons smooth out. The winter fur reaches full development in November — December.
The bear treats plantigrade animals. A trace its forward paws are prints of five manual callosities and the big cross located plantar callosity which leaves especially deep and accurate print on the soft soil. Besides, behind a cross callosity, is closer to the outer side of a foot, the small roundish callosity which seldom leaves a mark lies. On a foot of a hinder leg also five manual small pillows and one oblong callosity located any more not across and along foot. The print of a hinder leg reminds a trace of a bare foot of the person, but with wide foot and a narrow heel.
When the bear goes slowly, the print is left by all foot together with a heel; if the animal goes quickly or runs, the heel does not imprint even on soft soil. On snow at any pace all foot imprints. Claws at a bear very big. On forepaws they are 1,5-2 times longer, than on back, and reach 8-10 cm, considering on a bend. If only the top layer of earth is soft that happens on roads after a small rain, claws of a bear do not leave prints. At bear cubs of fingerlings width of a print of a forepaw of 5-6,5 cm, at the wintered bear cubs, a polutoraletok 8-10, and at a young polovozrely she-bear the 11-12th. At more adult bears width of a print of a forepaw of 14-17 cm, and, as a rule, at males the paw is larger. Certain males leave prints still of the big sizes - to 20 cm and more. A bear not for nothing call clumsy: when walking at it socks look inside, and heels outside. If the animal went slowly, prints of his lobbies and hinder legs stand nearby if quickly, hinder legs block prints of lobbies.
Brown bear - the typical inhabitant of big forests. On plains he gives preference big and to the old coniferous and mixed woods alternating with deafs of a garyama, cuttings down and reservoirs. In a zone of the mixed woods the brown bear renders habitable generally old, cluttered-up plantings like dense forest near extensive moss bogs and the place where there are suitable conditions for the device of winter dens.
In the woods with well developed grassy cover the skilled observer can follow in the tracks of a bear, being guided on the trampled-down grass. In connection with considerable weight the animal not only tramples down, but also crushes stalks and leaves of separate plants which, drying up, change the color. The way of an animal in this case becomes especially noticeable. It is possible to determine by extent of drying and straightening of the trampled-down plants how long there passed an animal.
In June-July when bears often visit forest lugovina, floodplains of the rivers and other open places with plentiful vegetation, their traces it is easy to observe early in the morning, dew for the present did not dry out. Fodder nabroda of an animal are sharply allocated with emerald paths against a grass, silver from dew, at this time. The bear well knows that the marks left by him give his location, and therefore tries to hide somehow them, resorting to various tricks. For example, when the animal goes on the wood and meets the fallen tree, he will not fail to climb up a trunk and to pass on it up to the end, and then to come off on the earth.
One of signs of presence at bear grounds - the ant hills which are dug up by it. In the early spring, despite night frosts and snow cover, tops of large ant hills are exempted from snow and insects begin to conduct active life. Judging by traces, the bear catches a smell of the wakened ants at distance over 100 m. At this time its traces conduct from one ant hill to another. The predator quite roughly finishes with an ant hill, widely scatters material of which it is constructed. Told treats large forest ants. But except them bears eat small red, meadow ants who appear in moss hummocks on the open, well warmed up by the sun places - wood edges, glades, forest lugovina. These ants the bear eats usually in the first half of summer. It is easy to notice the hummocks which are dug up by it since they are sharply allocated against greens. In search of ants - wood borers and larvae of some bugs, mainly fleshy larvae of a bug man with a big mustache, the bear breaks and overturns the decaying kolodina, rips skin off the trunks lying on the earth and foozles, On forest lugovina it sometimes lifts up the turf big layers, curtailing it a tube. Here it finds larvae of different insects, nests of voles, edible backs of plants. On edges of the wood the holes of voles which are dug out by a bear, and occur at reservoirs - muskrats. On forest glades and lugovina on valleys of small rivers and streams the bear at the beginning of summer eats krupnotravy. Here the attention is drawn by stalks of umbellate plants, razmochalenny on the place of a skus (a cow-parsnip, dyagil, a dudnik), and also tracks and different fodder nabroda of this predator are well noticeable.
In the wood and on the growing cutting areas it is possible to meet sites where young aspens are bent down to the earth, their vershinka are broken and eaten around. In June-July the foliage of young aspens ranks high in a bear diet. To reach a tree top, it rises by hinder legs, clasps with lobbies a trunk, pulls it on itself(himself) and quite often breaks. The break happens low, in a half a meter or meter from the earth. If the tree is strong, a bear, bending it, rests against a trunk of one of hinder legs. Thus it manages to break quite large aspens. At a break diameter of a trunk can reach 8-10 cm, and length of the dumped tree of 12-14 m. But more often the bear breaks and bends down younger trees to the earth. Eating around leaves only from the top, the animal skusyvat a sheet plate, leaving a scape on a branch. On trunks of aspens which were inclined by a bear traces of his claws are always noticeable.
Traces of feeding of a bear in a raspberry brake where he rumples are especially noticeable and breaks bushes from what in thickets wide corridors are formed. Visit traces this predator of other berry-pickers - are less noticeable and available to an eye only of the skilled observer. Here its presence is given generally by heaps of a dung.
Bear excrements in a form, color and a consistence are exclusively various that depends on structure of forages which during this period the animal eats. By the sizes they can be compared only to a dung of a livestock. However at domestic herbivorous animals digestion of vegetable food happens much more stoutly, than at a wild animal.
Traces of feeding of a bear on oats are very characteristic. Animals begin to visit oats in the second half of August when grain is in a stage of dairy and wax ripeness. Bear traces on the oat field are noticeable very well. These are the whole paths, and sometimes and platforms on which all plants are trampled down. The fed bear moves on oats slowly; getting a bunch of stalks on the right, at the left, pulls off or as hunters speak, osmorgivat grain from the taken stalks. On the European Sevre there is still an apt expression - the bear brusnit oats, i.e. pulls off grain from a whisk just as the person pulls off cowberry berries from a brush. The oats poisoned by a bear cannot be confused with the oats poisoned by cattle. Pets eat grain together with a whisk, and the bear leaves it on Lezhki's culm of a bear it is possible to meet in the most various places. In grounds where the animal is not disturbed, he lays down on rather open place at a tree trunk, on the dug-up old ant hill or just in thickets vysokotravya.
During a heat, especially at abundance of mosquitoes, the bear has a rest in dense thickets of a young fir grove, in a raspberry brake, digging out for a lezhka a small hole in the crude soil. Sometimes he lays down on the bank of a forest stream at the water where air is several degrees colder also than midges therefore less. Quite often bears males do not prepare to themselves a den and all winter sleep on a simple lezhka under the open sky. The bear usually suits winter dens in various natural shelters near reservoirs, and as it is possible in drier places: on windbreaks, in holes and crevices, on old garyam, is more rare - directly on the earth in the dug-up ant a lot of red forest ants or under branches of a sprawling fir-tree, and it is very rare - in the soil hole dug by him. Covers a den a moss, a dry grass, needles branches, leaves, hay. Pregnant she-bears suit deeper, spacious and warm dens, often take cover fir-tree branches. Willingly arrange dens on islands among moss bogs, sometimes and near human housing. Cases when in the small territory several winter family and individual dens settled down not far from each other were observed. Brings a den a snow blanket in the winter. Heat allocated to animals promotes formation of a hole with a small ventilating outlet.
Brown bear - a settled animal, only young growth, having separated from a family, wanders until bases the family. Individual hunting sites big, and males have more, than at females. Their bear marks borders and defends. Borders are not observed during maturing of oats and hibernation. The brown bear does not belong to the animals falling into the real hibernation. During a winter dream in a den it is sensitive to any hindrances, in fact is a winter catalepsy, and in thaw of an individual, not in time to acquire for fall of enough fat, leave a den and search for a forage - acorns, berries a mountain ash, etc. Separate individuals who for some reason did not fatten for the winter do not lay down at all, and wander in search of food - it is so-called "rods". Older and acquired a lot of fat bears go to a winter dream earlier (in October, before formation of constant snow cover), individuals are younger and with smaller fatty deposits - is much later (in November and even in December). They leave a winter den at different times, depending on accumulation of nutrients in an organism and terms of approach of spring, but is more often in April.
Bears are very sensitive, are guided by districts mainly at means of hearing and sense of smell, sight is developed much more weakly. They are more active at the nights and in twilight, but it is quite frequent, especially in the fall and in the spring, they can be met and in the afternoon searching for food. Meeting the dangerous opponent, the bear publishes a loud roar, becomes on hinder legs and tries to bring down the opponent in blows of forepaws or to seize him Brown bears live families or separately, winter one by one, and a she-bear - with bear cubs; adult males always winter separately bear cubs very slowly Grow and reach the maximum size by 8-10 years. There live with mother about two years and winter with her in one den. Bears fade once a year, since April till the end of June. Life expectancy of brown bears - from 30 to 50 years.