Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hairless Bears

When I was growing up, a sarcastic come back to a question with an obvious answer was "Does a bear have hair?"  Yes, that was a more innocent age.  It turns out that a few bears have lost their hair.

Spectacled bear- Wikimedia
The spectacled bear is a native of the west coast of South America.  It is the only surviving bear species in South America.  More interesting, it is the last living species of short faced bear, the North American megafauna which became extinct in the Late Pleistocene age.  You may be familiar with them from the Riverbluff Cave outside of Springfield, MO, where they left scratch marks 12 feet high on the wall.

So where does the hair come in, or more properly where does it leave?  The reported that a spectacled bear named Delores and her mates at the zoo in Leipzig have lost all their hair for unknown reasons.  This has left them susceptible to rashes and skin infections.  It also has brought a lot more people to the zoo.

If you want to see a bear without hair, click here.