Few animals on earth evoke such a sense of wonder and awe as bears. These massive creatures have long been seen as symbols of strength and power, and their impressive skills at hunting and foraging have made them some of the most feared predators in the wild.
However, bears are also incredibly fascinating animals, and many different species share some similarities with these iconic creatures. Here are just a few examples of animals that are similar to bears.
10 Animals Like Bears
Scientific Name: Odobenus rosmarus
Walruses and bears may not seem to have much in common, but they share several similarities. Both animals are large and stocky, with thick fur coats that provide insulation against the cold. Walruses and bears also have long snouts, small ears, and short tails.
Their feet are webbed and the polar bear’s feet are partially webbed, which helps them to swim effectively. Perhaps most significantly, both animals are proficient hunters, preying on fish, seals, and other small mammals. In many ways, walruses and bears are more alike than you might think.
Fun Fact: Walruses can sleep in water thanks to their pharyngeal pouches, which inflate like portable pillows when filled with air.
Scientific Name: Procyon lotor
Raccoons are among the most common animals in North America, and they are often seen as a nuisance. These nocturnal creatures are known for their distinctive masks and love of raiding trash cans. However, there is more to raccoons than meets the eye.
These intelligent animals are quite fascinating and have a lot in common with bears. For instance, raccoons and bears are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals.
In addition, both species are excellent climbers, and they are known for their stealthy scavenging habits. They are also both curious creatures and have been known to get into all sorts of trouble!
Fun Fact: Some raccoons have been seen washing their food before eating it.
3 . Coyotes
Scientific Name: Canis latrans
Coyotes are often seen as pests, but these versatile predators play an essential role in the ecosystems they inhabit. They are found throughout North and Central America and typically live in open areas like prairies and deserts, although they can also be found in urban areas.
Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything, including bugs, fruits, small mammals, and even carrion. In fact, their diet is one of the things that makes them similar to bears.
Like bears, coyotes will often eat whatever is easiest to find or catch, which means they sometimes eat things that humans don’t consider food. They’re also both very good at scavenging, and they will often steal food from campsites or garbage cans.
Fun Fact: Coyotes are known for their howling, but they actually make a wide variety of sounds, including barks, yips, and whines.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus
Wolves are perhaps the most iconic predators in the world and have been feared and revered throughout history. Wolves are omnivorous animals, which means they eat both plants and animals. Their diet varies depending on what is available, but they typically eat a lot of rabbits, deer, and other small mammals.
In some areas, they also eat fish, berries, and other plant materials. Wolves typically live in forests but can also be found in deserts and tundra. They usually form packs consisting of a few adults and their offspring.
Wolves are often compared to bears because they are both large carnivores with similar body types. However, there are several key differences between the two animals. For example, wolves have longer legs than bears, which helps them run faster.
They also have sharper teeth than bears, which helps them rip apart their prey easily. Despite these differences, wolves and bears are both iconic animals of the wilderness in North America.
Fun Fact: Wolves have 42 teeth, which is more than any other land mammal.
5. Red pandas
Scientific Name: Ailurus fulgens
Red pandas are often described as “bear-like,” and it’s easy to see why. They have a similar body shape, short legs, and long tails. Red pandas and bears also share a love of bamboo, which makes up the majority of their diet.
However, there are also some key differences between red pandas and bears. For example, red pandas are much smaller, with adults weighing only about 10 pounds. They also have different coloring, with reddish-brown fur on their bodies and black fur on their legs and tails.
And most importantly, red pandas are not related to bears; they belong to the family of animals that includes raccoons and skunks. Even so, the similarities between red pandas and bears are undeniable, making them one of the most unique and interesting animals in the world.
6. Earless Seals
Scientific Name: Phocidae
Earless seals, also known as true seals, are a type of marine mammal found in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. They get their name from the fact that they don’t have external ear flaps, and they are distinguished from other types of seals by their long, snake-like bodies.
Earless seals are excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for up to an hour at a time. They are also known for their intelligence and playfulness, and they have been known to interact with humans. Earless seals are often compared to bears because of their similar appearance and habits.
Both animals are large and have long bodies, and they are both excellent swimmers. They also both have a diet that consists mainly of fish.
Fun Fact: Earless seals can reduce their brain temperature by 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celcius when they dive into the cold water.
7. Seals (Pinnipedia)
Scientific Name: Pinnipedia
Seals and bears may seem like completely different animals, but they have quite a lot in common. Both seals and bears are members of the mammalian order Carnivora, which means that they are descendants of a common ancestor. This shared ancestry is evident in both their physical appearance and their behavior.
For example, both seals and bears have thick fur coats that help to keep them warm in cold weather. They also both have padded feet that help them to move quickly on land and swim powerfully through the water. Perhaps most importantly, both seals and bears are proficient hunters, preying on a variety of small animals.
While seals and bears may look very different at first glance, closer inspection reveals that they share a number of key features.
Fun Fact: Seals have the most flexible trachea of all terrestrial animals, which allows them to compress air when diving in the water.
8. Sea Lions
Scientific Name: Otariinae
Though they may not look it, sea lions are closely related to bears. Both sea lions and bears belong to the family Ursidae, which also includes pandas and sun bears. Like bears, sea lions are typically large animals with furry coats and round heads.
They also have four limbs, though the front limbs of a sea lion are flippers that are used for swimming. Sea lions and bears have a similar diet that consists of different types of seafood, primarily fish, clams, and squid.
While both animals are known for their marine habitats, some species of bear, such as the polar bear and the grizzly bear, live on land. In contrast, all species of sea lion live in the ocean. Despite their similarities, there are also some notable differences between these two animals.
For instance, while all species of bear are quadrupeds, only some species of sea lion walk on all fours; other species are able to stand on their hind legs like a human. Additionally, while both animals give birth to live young, female bears typically have one or two cubs at a time, while female sea lions can have litters of up to eight pups.
Fun Fact: Some sea lions are trained by the United States Navy to help them with some of their in-water needs.
Scientific Name: Vulpes
When you think of a fox, you might think of a small, cunning creature that is quick and agile. When you think of a bear, you might think of a large, lumbering animal that is powerful and intimidating. However, despite their differences in size and appearance, foxes and bears have quite a bit in common.
They are both members of the order Carnivora, which means that they are both carnivorous animals. Additionally, they are both considered intelligent animals, with foxes mainly known for their cunning nature. In fact, the saying “as sly as a fox” come from the fact that foxes are notoriously difficult to catch.
Finally, both animals are proficient hunters, with bears typically hunting larger prey and foxes typically hunting smaller prey. All in all, although foxes and bears may seem like very different animals, they actually have quite a few similarities.
Fun Fact: Foxes use the whiskers on their face and legs to help them navigate in low visibility conditions, like in the snow.
Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca
You might not think that pandas have much in common with other bears, but actually, they share a lot of similarities. For starters, pandas are the only member of the bear family that is entirely vegetarian. They mainly eat bamboo, which makes up 99% of their diet!
In fact, pandas have extra-long intestines and expanded microvilli, which helps them to digest their bamboo diet. Another similarity between pandas and other bears is that they both have thick fur that protects them from the cold weather.
The main difference between pandas and other bears is their size – pandas are much smaller than most bears, with an average weight of around 250 pounds. But despite their small size, pandas are still one of the most impressive members of the bear family!
Fun Fact: Pandas spend 10-16 hours of their day eating bamboo.