Spectacled bears are the only surviving species of bear native to South America, and the only surviving member of the subfamily Tremarctinae. Their survival has depended mostly on their ability to climb even the tallest trees of the Andes. Commonly referred to in English as the “Spectacled Bear”, a reference to the light colouring on its chest, neck and face which may resemble eyeglasses in some individuals, or the “Andean Bear” for its distribution along the Andes. The root trem- comes from a Greek word meaning “hole;” arctos is the Greek word for “bear.” Tremarctos is a reference to an unusual hole on the animal’s humerus. Ornatus, Latin for “decorated”, is a reference to the markings that give the bear its common English name.
Silly bear, take those glasses off.
Buba, a baby bear born in January 2010, plays with her mother Ursina at the Juraparc of Mont-d’Orzieres near Vallorbe, Switzerland, Monday, April 5, 2010. (Dominic Favre/Keystone/AP Photo)