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Introduction

Sloth Bear or labiated bear or Jungle jokers or Lip bears or Indian bear is one of the bear species with the scientific name Melursus ursinus ursinus, native to Indian subcontinent. They have various other local names like Karadi, Bhalluk, Asol, Bhalluka, Walaha, Rinchh, Bir Mendi, and Pani Karudi. There are two subspecies of sloth bear that are distributed in various parts of South Asia like Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It falls under the family Ursidae and species Melursus ursinus. The quick classification of Indian Sloth Bear is as below,

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Ursidae
Genus Melursus
Species Melursus ursinus
Subspecies Melursus ursinus ursinus

Physical Structure

Sloth bears are small-sized bears with black colored fur. The fur or coat has long, rough and untidy hair. In addition to the shaggier coat, it also possesses few characteristics like pale, thick, long and short-haired muzzle, long and curved white claws which makes it unique from the Asiatic black bear. The hair near the nostrils aids to prevent insects or dust being driven in. Like Asiatic black bear they have whitish V-shaped or Y-shaped marking on their chest. They possess a gap in between the teeth which helps them to suck up termites, ants and other insects. The lower lip is long and they could be extended over the outer edge of the nose.

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