Shortfaced Bear
(Arctodus simus)

During the Pleistocene, the North-American plains where roamed by Arctodus simus, or the Shortfaced Bear. It was larger than any bear alive today, 700 kilos heavy and 1,7 meter high at the shoulder. When it stood on its hind legs, it was 3 meters high. Unlike many other bears, who used to be omnivores, the Shortfaced Bear was just a carnivore. This bear had abjured its traditional diet of fruit and turnips and turned to hunting. Bears do not have stipulated ideal body construction to hunt, they run on their soles and a lot has been built heavily. They are built for strength, not for speed. Altough they can run faster than people, this is not yet fast enough to catch up with preys. The Shortfaced Bear solved this problem a little by making its legs longer so it could run faster. The problem of running on the foot soles had not been solved, but strength could also be useful when hunting. Being a carnivore, the Shortfaced bear was a scavenger as well, in the tar pits of Rancho La Brea also many Shortfaced Bearfossils have been found. Perhaps that for the Shortfaced Bear scavenging was more important then for other carnivores, but long legs and other adaptations to run brought him nevertheless the ability to hunt. With its size and strength it would be able to scare other predators, dire wolves and sabertooth cats, away from their prey, which would have made it an effective scavenger. Arctodus simus probably hunted on deers, horses, buffalo's and juvenile mammoths and ground sloths.