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bear climbing a treeBear Footed

Bears walk flat footed like humans do rather than on their toes like most animals.  This allows them to walk upright like people.  From far away, this looks really cool, but close up it might be a little frightening to see a really big bear standing in front of you!  This is definitely a good way to scare off danger!  

Their feet are wide and flat with long, sharp claws.  The claws on their front paws are longer than on the back, which is useful for climbing trees.  Two species that have special feet are the polar bear and the giant panda.  The polar bear has partially webbed toes for swimming and walking on snow (kind of like snowshoes!) as well as furry bottoms to keep its feet warm on the ice.  Giant pandas do not have a heel pad so they walk more on their toes.

Have you ever noticed that bears look pigeon-toed?  This could be to help them hold onto trees that they are climbing and make it easier for them to put food in their mouths.

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