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Which is the largest carnivore on land?
Translated by Mara
Of course the bear. But the question is not so simple – because which bear is the largest? It depends. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is generally considered the largest, and in terms of its average weight, it really confidently outstrips the brown bear (Ursus arctos). A polar bear weighs between 400 and 700 kilograms, while a brown bear rarely weighs more than 500 kilograms. However, the brown bear is a very widespread species, and accordingly we can talk about several subspecies (some of which are unfortunately extinct), which differ in their lifestyle just as significantly as in their stature. European brown bears are certainly behind the polar bear in the rankings, as they rarely exceed 300 kilograms, but their relatives in Alaska, the so-called Kodiak bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi), grow huge. They are frightening to look at, and we will be overtaken with surprise even after consideration.
According to some sources, the largest Kodiak bear ever killed weighed 1,134 kilograms, while the largest polar bear (White King) ever lived was “only” 998 pounds, meaning it is 136 kilograms behind the largest Kodiak bear.
By S. Taheri – zoo, own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1118252
According to other sources, the record for Kodiak bears living wild weighed only 751 kilograms, while the captive recorder’s weight was 966 kilos. In short, the uncertainty of the sources also makes it difficult to confidently announce a winner. Yet polar bears are larger on average. In summary, therefore, in terms of average weight, the polar bear is clearly the largest terrestrial carnivore on Earth. However, the individual record is presumably held by a Kodiak bear. That is why they are mentioned together in most places when the question arises as to which is the largest terrestrial carnivore on the planet.
Unfortunately, the polar bear, as a species, is severely threatened by the global disappearance of ice from the Arctic as a result of global warming. His survival is in doubt.
The brown bear is not endangered globally, but the situation is different with some of its subspecies, including the Kodiak bear. Excessive hunting also endangered it, but today a significant part of his habitat is protected, so the decline has stopped, and today it is no longer primarily a target of hunting, but rather of tourism.