Giant Short Faced Bear

Artist's depiction of a Giant Short Faced Bear

"Giant Short Faced Bear" by George Rinaldino Teichmann copyright 1999 Yulon Government Collection

The largest carnivore that called the Bering Land Bridge home was a true giant.
When on all fours it could look a person in the eye. And while it was a carnivore, it wasn't a fearsome hunter. The skull of the Giant Short Faced Bear, with a large opening where its nose was, reveals that this bear had a lot of nasal tissue. Scientists believe it had a keen sense of smell, allowing the bear to catch the scent of dead animals from a great distance.

Other bones reveal its skeleton was not designed for fighting, but, instead, was built for efficient, long-distance travel. Together, these clues reveal the bear was a scavenger, not a hunter. The open tundra-steppe, where it could easily find the kills of other predators, was its perfect home.

Last updated: April 15, 2015

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