Giant Short Faced Bear
From OpenContent Curriculum
Giant Short Faced Bear - A Quick overview
The Giant Short Faced Bear (GSFB) was a monster carnivore, likely out-competing all other carnivores for food. They were twice the size of a modern-day grizzly and their jaw was strong enough to be able to crack open and eat the marrow of bones. But that is only the beginning of what made these bears fierce predators. Their size was intimidating, GSFBs stood six feet tall at the shoulders when standing on all four feet. They were over 11 feet tall standing on their hind legs, that would be through the ceiling in most classrooms. The incisors on the GSFB were three inches long, that is half the size of a tyrannosaurus rex! They had to consume, on average, 35 pounds of meat a day. It is easy to understand why intimidation was their best tool for obtaining food.
So why did these ice-age predatory beasts become absent as we approach modern times? Much of it has to do with the fact that meat-eaters, unlike the grazers had very specialized diets, they ate meat exclusively. As the numbers of large herbivores, like woolly mammoths, shrunk throughout the late Pleistocene, the meat-eaters lost food source after food source. Additionally, many of the predators that lived on the ice-age steppe of Alaska were not “behaviorally wired” to adapt to an herbivorous or omnivorous lifestyle mainly as the result of a relatively small brain size.