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Bear (Animal) [Paperback]

Robert E. Bieder
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 11.77
Price: 11.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 May 2005 Animal
Few animals are as closely associated with humans as bears. From the Greek legend of "Callisto" to "Winnie-the-Pooh", bears have throughout history been a rich source of imagery, myth, story and legend. "Bear" begins 25 million years ago with 'dawn bear', the small dog-sized ancestor of all bears. Tracing the evolution of the bear family, the author discusses extinct types, such as the cave bear and the giant short-faced bear, as well as describing in detail the eight species that exist today. Several of these species are now facing extinction, and the book considers the impact of current human behaviour on bears and their environments. "Bear" explores the bear-human relationship and how human perceptions of bears have changed over time. Drawing from cultures around the world, it discusses the various legends and myths, including the ceremonies and taboos that surround hunting, killing and eating bears. It also looks at representations of bears in contemporary culture: as the subjects of stories, songs, cartoons and films; as exhibits in pits, circuses and zoos; and also as toys. The book concludes by considering the precarious future of the bear, threatened as it is by loss of habitats, disease, pollution, global warming and poaching for the medicinal trade. "Bear" will appeal to all those interested in the past, present and future of these extraordinary creatures.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (20 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861892047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861892041
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 14 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


It is indeed surprising, considering the wealth of legends and traditions to do with bears worldwide, how very few books have been written about them, but in Bear we are given a taste of what must surely be a huge and enthralling subject. Archives of Natural History In Bear, Robert E. Bieder does a fine job of chronicling the evolution of bears, explaining which species survived or did not (and why), and examining what has set the Family Ursidae apart from the others. The Quarterly Review of Biology

About the Author

Robert E. Bieder is Research Associate and Adjunct Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Indiana, USA. He is the author of many books and articles on North American natural history, folklore and ethnology.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Quality 29 Dec 2012
By Mr. M. A. Spridgeon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bears are my second favourite animal and I have travelled around the world to view them in their natural habitat. I also visit zoos and watch dvd's on the subject. Therefore I thought I was well informed about these wonderful animals. How wrong was I!

This book has an astounding level of detail given its relative small size and the breadth of what is covered is amazing. This is a reading book that is interspersed with some pictures and is part of a great series of books that are all a pleasure to read. The book covers the history of the bear, and its place in our society. I picked this one up and had read it within a week which is unusual for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bear Essentials 14 April 2009
By Jessica Thomas - Published on
I help conduct yearly panels on totem animals at a favorite con of mine. Each year we pick an animal and try to learn all we can about it. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes? Not so.

The entire "Animal" series is worth a look, no matter what critters you like. I started with Crow and Salmon, and now have Bear and Cat. They are each researched in great detail, illustrated with great images, and have juicy bibliographies. They're fun to read and thought provoking, and I recommend them for anyone curious about the relationship between humans and our fellow animals. Great stuff.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bear Animal 12 May 2014
By Joy Love - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have always been interested in bears and find this book another book that I would recommend to friends to read.
Learning about bears helps people to understand their behavior in the wild. This could save a persons life if they were
to come in contact with a bear.
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