Thursday, February 10, 2011

The biggest bear that ever lived

Modern bears, the largest of the brown bears and polars, may in exceptional individuals reach 500kg. The extinct giant short-faced bear have have reached 1,000kg, although experts have lately been debating how robustly it was built and whether this figure is too high. (A freak polar bear killed over 100 years ago was claimed to push 1,000kg as well.) But what do you do with a bear that weighed 1,600kg and standing 3.4 meters high? It's hard even visualize the thing. It seems like fantasy.
However, the giant short-faced bear's South American relative, which was discovered in 1935 but only now given a proper examination, really was that big. Paleontologist Blaine Schubert said "there's nothing else that even comes close...It just blew my mind how big it was."

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