Spectacled Bear Trivia

Do you think you know the spectacled bear? Test your knowledge of spectacled bear FaunaFacts with this trivia quiz!

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Spectacled bear cubs are born with the spectacle facial markings.
True
Spectacled bear cubs are born with the spectacle facial markings.
False

To what continent is the spectacled bear endemic
South America
The spectacled bear is native to South America.
Asia
North America
Europe

Spectacled bears may feed on the crops and livestock of farmers.
True
In areas where farming and cattle-raising have intruded into former Andean bear habitat, reducing the bears’ natural sources of food, the spectacled bears have been known to raid farmers’ crops, especially those of maize and cultivated corn.
False

Adult spectacled bears have no predators.
True
There are no reported predators on adult spectacled bears.
False

How long do spectacled bear cubs stay with their mothers?
1 Year
They stay with their mother for up to a year after birth.
3 Months
2 Years
6 Months

What is the average lifespan of the spectacled bear in the wild?
20 Years
Not much is known about the average lifespan of a wild spectacled bear, but it is believed to be around 20 years.
5 Years
10 Years
30 Years

There is sexual dimorphism in the body size of the spectacled bear.
True, males are larger.
Male spectacled bears are up to 50% larger than females and are sometimes twice their weight.
True, females are larger.
False.

What is the parental investment of the spectacled bear?
Maternal
There is no known paternal involvement in the rearing of spectacled bear cubs and adult males may eat any cubs they come into contact with.
Maternal & Paternal
None
Paternal

There are no verified accounts of fatal spectacled bear-human confrontations.
True
There are no verified accounts of fatal bear-human confrontations, at least none in which the person did not survive, as Andean bear attacks are virtually unheard of.
False

Spectacled bears hibernate.
False
The spectacled bear does not hibernate, but there is disagreement over its activity pattern.
True

How many cubs are in an average spectacled bear litter?
1-4
In the wild, one to four cubs are born to a single female. In captivity, a female gives birth to two cubs on average.
8-12
4-8
12-16

Relative to body size, spectacled bears have the largest zygomaticomandibularis muscle of all bears.
True
Relative to their body size, spectacled bears have the largest zygomaticomandibularis muscle of any bear species.
False

What percentage of spectacled bear habitat has been lost since 1990?
30%
30% of the Andean bear’s habitat has been lost since the 1990s.
90%
60%
10%

What habitats do spectacled bears inhabit?
Shrubland
Spectacled bears inhabit shrubland, grassland, and forest habitats.
Grassland
Spectacled bears inhabit shrubland, grassland, and forest habitats.
Forest
Spectacled bears inhabit shrubland, grassland, and forest habitats.
Rocky Areas

What is the mating system of the spectacled bear?
Polygynous
Much of the mating behavior of the spectacled bear remains unstudied, but they are believed to be polygynous.
Monogamous
Polyandrous
Polygynandrous

What is the spectacled bear’s gestation?
160-255 Days
The gestation times in captive bears is 160 to 255 days.
16-55 Days
55-160 Days
255-360 Days

What systems do spectacled bears inhabit?
Terrestrial
Spectacled bears are large, terrestrial animals, and are one of the few extant bear species that are habitually arboreal.
Arboreal
Spectacled bears are large, terrestrial animals, and are one of the few extant bear species that are habitually arboreal.
Aquatic
Fossorial

Spectacled bears are excellent climbers and spend a fair amount of time in trees.
True
Spectacled bears are excellent climbers and spend a fair amount of time in trees.
False

What parts of the spectacled bear are highly prized?
Meat
In some parts of the Andean bear’s range, the meat, skin, fat, and claws are highly prized and in demand locally.
Skin
In some parts of the Andean bear’s range, the meat, skin, fat, and claws are highly prized and in demand locally.
Fat
In some parts of the Andean bear’s range, the meat, skin, fat, and claws are highly prized and in demand locally.
Claws
In some parts of the Andean bear’s range, the meat, skin, fat, and claws are highly prized and in demand locally.

What feature originated the spectacled bear’s name?
Facial Markings
The common name, spectacled bear, comes from the white, cream, beige, pale yellow, ginger, or tan markings on the face that create rings around the eyes.
Elusive Behavior
Arboreal Lifestyle
Omnivorous Diet

No two spectacled bears have the same facial markings.
True
The lighter markings are highly variable, unique to each individual, and may be absent altogether.
False

The spectacled bear is the smallest of the bear species.
False
The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest of the bear species.
True

What is the spectacled bear’s diet?
Omnivorous
Like other bears, spectacled bears are omnivorous.
Carnivorous
Herbivorous
Unknown

Which sex of spectacled bear keeps larger home ranges?
Male
Male are reported to have a larger average home range than females.
Female

What do spectacled bears eat?
Carrion
Like other bears, spectacled bears will feed upon invertebrates, small mammals, rodents, birds, insects, fruit, and leaves. They will also readily scavenge from a carcass and feed upon carrion.
Meat
Like other bears, spectacled bears will feed upon invertebrates, small mammals, rodents, birds, insects, fruit, and leaves. They will also readily scavenge from a carcass and feed upon carrion.
Fruit
Like other bears, spectacled bears will feed upon invertebrates, small mammals, rodents, birds, insects, fruit, and leaves. They will also readily scavenge from a carcass and feed upon carrion.
Leaves
Like other bears, spectacled bears will feed upon invertebrates, small mammals, rodents, birds, insects, fruit, and leaves. They will also readily scavenge from a carcass and feed upon carrion.

What is the spectacled bear assessment on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
Vulnerable
The spectacled bear is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened Species since 1982 and has a high risk of going extinct in the next 30 years.
Least Concern
Near Threatened
Endangered

What is the spectacled bear’s form of locomotion?
Plantigrade
Like all bears, spectacled bears walk on the soles of their feet and are equipped with a plantigrade stance.
Digitigrade
Unguligrade
Other

Spectacled bears are one of how many bear species that are habitually arboreal?
4
Spectacled bears are one of four extant bear species that are habitually arboreal, alongside the American black bear (Ursus americanus), Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus), and the sun bear, (Helarctos malayanus).
6
2
8

What is the social system of the spectacled bear?
Solitary
Spectacled bears tend to be solitary animals and isolate themselves from one another in order to avoid competition.
Social
Solitary Males, Social Females
Social Males, Solitary Females

Spectacled bears are the largest terrestrial carnivore in South America.
True
Spectacled bears are the largest land carnivore in South America.
False

What are alternate names for the spectacled bear?
Andean Bear
The spectacled bear is known as the Andean bear or mountain bear because of its range in the Andes Mountains. It is also known as the short-faced bear because it has a relatively short, broad snout and more rounded face compared to other bear species.
Mountain Bear
The spectacled bear is known as the Andean bear or mountain bear because of its range in the Andes Mountains. It is also known as the short-faced bear because it has a relatively short, broad snout and more rounded face compared to other bear species.
Short-Faced Bear
The spectacled bear is known as the Andean bear or mountain bear because of its range in the Andes Mountains. It is also known as the short-faced bear because it has a relatively short, broad snout and more rounded face compared to other bear species.
Moon Bear

What is the spectacled bear’s scientific name?
Tremarctos ornatus
The spectacled bear’s scientific name is Tremarctos ornatus.
Ursus thibetanus
Ailuropoda melanoleuca
Helarctos malayanus

What is the population trend of the spectacled bear?
Decreasing
As with many species, loss of habitat plays a major role in the population decline of spectacled bears.
Increasing
Stable
Unknown

What is the spectacled bear’s circadian rhythm?
Diurnal
There is some disagreement over the activity pattern of the spectacled bear. Some argue that they are strictly diurnal and crepuscular, whereas others have stated that they are nocturnal as well.
Nocturnal
There is some disagreement over the activity pattern of the spectacled bear. Some argue that they are strictly diurnal and crepuscular, whereas others have stated that they are nocturnal as well.
Cathemeral
Crepuscular
There is some disagreement over the activity pattern of the spectacled bear. Some argue that they are strictly diurnal and crepuscular, whereas others have stated that they are nocturnal as well.

When do spectacled bear cubs open their eyes?
1 Month
The cubs are born blind and their eyes do not open until 30 days, during which time they are completely dependent on their mother.
1 Day
1 Week
1 Hour

Spectacled bears are persecuted by farmers.
True
Spectacled bears can be persecuted by local farmers who blame them for killing cattle and for destroying maize crops.
False

When are spectacled bear cubs born?
September-February
Spectacled bear cubs are typically born several months before the fruit season begins between September and February.
March-August
December-May
June-November

What preys on spectacled bear cubs?
Pumas
Cubs may be preyed on by pumas (Puma concolor), jaguars (Panthera onca), and occasionally by adult male spectacled bears.
Jaguars
Cubs may be preyed on by pumas (Puma concolor), jaguars (Panthera onca), and occasionally by adult male spectacled bears.
Spectacled Bears
Cubs may be preyed on by pumas (Puma concolor), jaguars (Panthera onca), and occasionally by adult male spectacled bears.
Great Horned Owls

What is the average lifespan of the spectacled bear in captivity?
25 Years
The average lifespan of Andean bears in captivity is around 25 years.
10 Years
15 Years
35 Years

With the polar bear, the spectacled bear is the most sexually dimorphic modern bear.
True
The spectacled bear rivals the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) for the most sexually dimorphic modern bear.
False

When does the spectacled bear reach sexual maturity?
4-7 Years
Both male and female bears reach sexual maturity between the ages of 4 and 7 years.
1-3 Years
4-7 Months
1-3 Months

What impedes spectacled bear population estimates?
Elusive Behavior
Because spectacled bears are shy and stealthy and live in remote habitats, no one knows exactly how many remain in the wild.
Remote Habitat
Because spectacled bears are shy and stealthy and live in remote habitats, no one knows exactly how many remain in the wild.
Defensive Behavior
Camouflage

Spectacled bears avoid contact with humans.
True
Spectacled bears are shy, peaceful, and elusive, and avoid contact with humans.
False

Spectacled bears give birth to more cubs when food is abundant.
True
The size of a spectacled bear’s litter is positively correlated with the weight of the female and the abundance and variety of food sources.
False

The spectacled bear’s zygomaticomandibularis muscles and cheek teeth are designed for what type of diet?
Herbivorous
The spectacled bear’s zygomaticomandibularis muscles, along with the blunt lophs of the cheek teeth, are adaptations for their primarily herbivorous diet.
Carnivorous

What percentage of spectacled bear habitat is lost each year?
3-6%
3-6% of spectacled bear habitat is lost each year.
23-26%
13-16%
33-36%

What is the spectacled bear’s movement pattern?
Migrant
Spectacled bears are thought to be migratory.
Nomadic
Not a Migrant

When is the spectacled bear breeding season?
April-June
Males and females mainly come together to mate between the months of April and June.
October-December
July-September
January-March

Spectacled bears possess great religious and cultural value to indigenous people.
True
Spectacled bears possess great religious and cultural value to the native people whom share their range and are the source of a lot of myths. Until humans began to forcibly introduce themselves, wild Andean bears were mysterious and a bit mythological. Some indigenous cultures in South America revered them as spiritual mediators. In some areas, they are considered a divine creature linking Heaven to Earth.
False

Why do spectacled bears nest in trees?
Sleep
One of the more unique features of Andean bears is their construction and use of platforms or nests which the bears create in the understory of the trees. These platforms allow the bear to obtain easier access to food high in the canopy, provide concealment, and are also used for sleeping. Spectacled bears have even been observed building platforms of bent and broken branches in trees in order to watch cornfields or herds of cattle (Bos taurus).
Easier Access to Food
One of the more unique features of Andean bears is their construction and use of platforms or nests which the bears create in the understory of the trees. These platforms allow the bear to obtain easier access to food high in the canopy, provide concealment, and are also used for sleeping. Spectacled bears have even been observed building platforms of bent and broken branches in trees in order to watch cornfields or herds of cattle (Bos taurus).
Concealment
One of the more unique features of Andean bears is their construction and use of platforms or nests which the bears create in the understory of the trees. These platforms allow the bear to obtain easier access to food high in the canopy, provide concealment, and are also used for sleeping. Spectacled bears have even been observed building platforms of bent and broken branches in trees in order to watch cornfields or herds of cattle (Bos taurus).
Observation Tower
One of the more unique features of Andean bears is their construction and use of platforms or nests which the bears create in the understory of the trees. These platforms allow the bear to obtain easier access to food high in the canopy, provide concealment, and are also used for sleeping. Spectacled bears have even been observed building platforms of bent and broken branches in trees in order to watch cornfields or herds of cattle (Bos taurus).

What value does a spectacled bear gallbladder have in east Asia?
$150
Recent estimates put the price at $150.00 USD for one gallbladder, which is five times the average monthly wage in Ecuador.
$15
$1,500
$15,000

Spectacled bear parts are believed to have what attributes?
Strength
In some regions in South America, the bear’s meat is believed to impart strength, its fat is used to cure certain illnesses, and its claws are supposed to bring good luck.
Cure Illness
In some regions in South America, the bear’s meat is believed to impart strength, its fat is used to cure certain illnesses, and its claws are supposed to bring good luck.
Good Luck
In some regions in South America, the bear’s meat is believed to impart strength, its fat is used to cure certain illnesses, and its claws are supposed to bring good luck.
Wisdom

What is the record lifespan of the spectacled bear?
36 Years
The longest recorded lifespan was at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., where the bear lived to be 36 years, 8 months of age.
21 Years
26 Years
41 Years

The spectacled bear has a tail.
True
They have a short tail, about 7 centimeters long, (2.8 inches,) that is often completely hidden by the fur.
False

In what season are male spectacled bear home ranges largest?
Dry
Males are reported to have a larger average home range of 23 square kilometers during the wet season and 27 square kilometers during the dry season.
Wet

How much of a spectacled bear’s diet is composed of meat?
5%
Only 5% of the Andean bear’s diet is composed of meat.
0%
15%
25%

What threatens spectacled bears?
Climate Change
Human development and encroachment, from agriculture to new settlements has significantly impacted the bear’s numbers throughout its range. Sadly, habitat loss and fragmentation is bringing bears and humans into greater proximity, leading to increased human-bear-conflict. This increase in conflict results in reduced tolerance and escalated bear kills. Mining, road development, and oil exploration are also increasing threats to the spectacled bear’s habitat.
Biological Resource Use
Human development and encroachment, from agriculture to new settlements has significantly impacted the bear’s numbers throughout its range. Sadly, habitat loss and fragmentation is bringing bears and humans into greater proximity, leading to increased human-bear-conflict. This increase in conflict results in reduced tolerance and escalated bear kills. Mining, road development, and oil exploration are also increasing threats to the spectacled bear’s habitat.
Agriculture
Human development and encroachment, from agriculture to new settlements has significantly impacted the bear’s numbers throughout its range. Sadly, habitat loss and fragmentation is bringing bears and humans into greater proximity, leading to increased human-bear-conflict. This increase in conflict results in reduced tolerance and escalated bear kills. Mining, road development, and oil exploration are also increasing threats to the spectacled bear’s habitat.
Energy Production
Human development and encroachment, from agriculture to new settlements has significantly impacted the bear’s numbers throughout its range. Sadly, habitat loss and fragmentation is bringing bears and humans into greater proximity, leading to increased human-bear-conflict. This increase in conflict results in reduced tolerance and escalated bear kills. Mining, road development, and oil exploration are also increasing threats to the spectacled bear’s habitat.

Spectacled bears are the most herbivorous bears.
False
Besides giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), spectacled bears are probably the most herbivorous bear species.
True

Spectacled bears have longer fore limbs than hind limbs.
True
Their front limbs are longer than their hind limbs, giving them amazing climbing abilities.
False

Spectacled bears will jump from tree to tree.
True
Andean bears will even try to escape conflict by jumping from tree to tree.
False

Spectacled bears are territorial.
False
Because they have been observed to feed in small groups, it is unlikely that these bears are highly territorial.
True

Spectacled bears are the largest terrestrial mammal in South America.
False
Spectacled bears are the second largest terrestrial mammal in South America, after the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris).
True

The spectacled bear is the last remaining short-faced bear from the subfamily Tremarctinae.
True
The spectacled bear is the last remaining short-faced bear from the subfamily Tremarctinae and the Tremarctos genus, endemic to the Americas from the Pliocene to recent.
False

What features originated the spectacled bear’s scientific name?
Bone Structure
The root trem comes from a Greek word meaning hole and arctos is the Greek word for bear. Tremarctos is a reference to an unusual hole on the animal’s humerus. Ornatus, Latin for decorated, is a reference to the markings that give the bear its common English name, spectacled bear.
Facial Markings
The root trem comes from a Greek word meaning hole and arctos is the Greek word for bear. Tremarctos is a reference to an unusual hole on the animal’s humerus. Ornatus, Latin for decorated, is a reference to the markings that give the bear its common English name, spectacled bear.
Arboreal Lifestyle
Social Structure

How does the spectacled bear contribute to the ecosystem?
Seed Dispersal
Because of their largely herbivorous diet, it is likely that they play a role in seed dispersal.
Reduces Disease
Predator Food Source
Forest Regeneration

The spectacled bear is the only bear native to South America.
True
The spectacled bear is the only species of bear native to South America.
False

Olfaction is the dominant form of communication for spectacled bears.
True
Olfaction is the dominant form of communication for spectacled bears.
False

How much did you know about the spectacled bear? Share your results in the comments!

Learn More About the Spectacled Bear

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