arctodus simus

The short-faced bear (Arctodus simus), otherwise known as the bulldog bear, was a large species of bear native to North American until around 12,500 years ago. It inhabited a wide range, with fossils found as far north as Alaska, and as far south as Mississippi. They belonged to the Ursid subfamily of Tremarctinae, leaving the South American spectacled bear as its closest living relative. Unlike it’s close cousins, the short-faced bear was likely a hypercarnivore, eating almost exclusively (if not solely) meat, according to chemical analysis on the bones. It would have required around 35 pounds of flesh a day in order to sustain it’s large size, being one of the largest known land carnivores. It’s feeding strategy, however, has been a subject of debate. Unlike most bears, it has long, relatively thin limbs. This would have given it a considerable amount of speed. It’s been theorized that the bear would have ran down prey in a similar fashion to cheetahs. The problem with this arises in that it’s joints don’t move in such a way that would allow for it to make quick turns, making it impossible to hunt the agile prey in its range, and any such attempts would likely cause injury given its weight. The current prevailing theory is that it instead was a kleptoparasite, using it’s speed and girth to charge smaller predators and scare them away from their kills.