Sloth Bear vs Asiatic Black Bear
Sloth bear and Asiatic black bear are two different species with many recognizable distinctions between them. However, both these species have been naturally distributed in Asia, but in two different regions within the continent. Their appearance is different from each other, in addition to the behavioural differences. This article discusses most of the important and interesting differences between these two species of bears living in Asia.
Being naturally distributed mainly in India and Sri Lanka, Sloth bear, Ursus ursinus, is a very distinctive species with interesting habits. It is also known as the Labiated bear because of the presence of long lips. Sloth bear is an insectivorous mammal with a nocturnal lifestyle. The ancestor of sloth bear is the brown bear, but the body features are lankier than not. Their coat is long and shaggy with a distinct mane around the face. However, the subspecies found in Sri Lanka does not have a shaggy coat. The long and sickle-shaped claws are important for them to scratch and break the anthills and honeybee colonies to find food. The long claws are also important in climbing trees. The special adaptation of sloth bear is the long lower lip, which could be used in sucking insects out of air in large numbers. In addition, the absence of upper incisors is another advantage for them to suck more and more insects into the mouth at once by a large sucking force. Sloth bears have large ears that are floppy though they can hear well, and the sense of smell is strong enough to find their food sources in the night. The coat of fur is completely black but sometimes there is a white mark on the chest.
Asiatic Black Bear
Asiatic black bear, Ursus thibetanus, is a very special member among many bears with some distinctive body features and behaviours. It is colloquially known as the Moon bear, and they possess many morphological features similar to some of the prehistoric bear species. Therefore, it is believed that Asiatic black bear would have been an ancestor of some of the present day species. Additionally, they are much similar in appearance to the brown bears. They are mostly herbivorous, but it is an omnivorous animal when the complete diet is concerned. Asiatic black bears love to be on trees, i.e. they prefer an arboreal lifestyle. The powerful upper body facilitates them to climb trees without much effort. Their body is a lightly built ne with slender limbs. The skull or the head region of their body is not robustly built but massive. Their ears are bell or round-shaped but not floppy. The whole body except the snout is covered with pitch-black colour coat of fur except for the characteristic white patch on the chest. They are quite notorious for attacking humans, and that may be due to their diurnal behaviours, as they encounter with people more often than not.
What is the difference between Sloth Bear and Asiatic Black Bear?
• Sloth bear is nocturnal but the Asiatic black bear in diurnal.
• Sloth bear is found in the Indian subcontinent, but the Asiatic black bear is found in all over the Asia except Sri Lanka.
• Sloth bear has elongated face with longer snout compared to the shorter snout and round face of Asiatic black bear.
• Sloth bear has a mane around the face but not in Asiatic black bear.
• Sloth bears are mostly omnivorous while Asiatic black bear is mostly herbivorous.
• The white chest spot is more prominently present in Asiatic black bear than in sloth bear.
• Attacks on humans are more frequent from Asiatic black bears, but very few have been recorded from sloth bear.