Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and partially in the Southern Hemisphere. That which pertains to bears is called ursine. Bears are found in the continents of North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
Common characteristics of modern bears include a large body with stocky legs, a long snout, shaggy hair, paws with five claws, and a short tail.
Most bears are omnivorous, with largely varied diets including both plants and animals.