Ask a Bear: How Many Different Kinds of Bears Are There?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our 'Ask A Bear' column.

Q: I was reading a magazine and I saw a picture of something called a sun bear. I’ve heard of grizzlies and black bears, but never this. How many different kinds of bears exist? —Taxonomy Tanya

A: There’s a whole wide world of bears out there. The bear family, Ursidae, contains eight species that are still around today. Three of those live in North America: brown bears, black bears, and polar bears. Check out the slideshow below to meet the rest of my relatives, and take our “What Kind of Bear Are You?” quiz to find out where you fit in.


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