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The small sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is unique amongst the bears, as insects are its main food source. It has a long, shaggy, coat with particularly long hair over the shoulders, and is typically black, although some individuals with cinnamon or reddish coats have been seen. A distinctive pale whitish or cream marking on the chest forms a ‘U’ or ‘Y’ shape, and the relatively long, mobile muzzle is also pale in colour. The snout of the sloth bear, along with its bare lips, and lack of upper incisors, are adaptations for its insect-based diet. The front feet are turned inwards and have large and slightly curved ivory-coloured claws for digging.

Sloth Bear Subspecies

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