[AS.] A large carnivorous animal, with a rough, shaggy coat and a peculiar gait. It walks on the sole of the foot (plantigrade.) It has five toes on each foot, and when fighting stands nearly erect on its hind feet, and strikes with the fore paws or clasps its antagonist forcibly. Though a flesh-eater the bear prefers vegetable food, and is fond of the fruit and roots of trees. Most bears are good climbers of trees. The bear partially hibernates, the female shutting herself up when with young, and being without food until the following spring. The brown bear of Europe and Asia is sometimes exhibited as a performing animal. There are also the black bear and grizzly bear of North America, the sloth bear of India, the Syrian bear of Scripture, and the polar or white bear, which, with its yellowish fur, lives among ice, and is a good swimmer, and preys on the seal and walrus. The ant-bear, the sea-bear, etc., are not real bears, but belong to quite different orders of animals.