The Moss Bear, also known as Silky Bear, is the smallest representant of the bear family on the Sarvonian continent. It inhabits the Shaded Forest and the forested parts of the Nybelmar continent, preferring the darkest and most secluded parts. The Moss Bear has a long coat with silky hair that has several different uses. It can give a soft kind of wool that can be spun into the finest of yarn that is used to knit warm clothes. The pelt can also be used complete as a rug or bedcover.
The Moss Bear has a long body, a big head with a long, broad and almost hairless
muzzle, small eyes and ears. The legs of the bear are very long and may seem too
long for the animal. The bottom of the feet is covered with a soft fur that
keeps the bear warm in winter. The paws are armed with long and sharp claws that
it uses to peel the moss that it uses to cover its lair off from the ground and
the trunks of the trees.
The Moss Bear measures only 1 ped and 2 fores in length, and hardly 2 fores and one palmspan from shoulder to ground. The weight is only up to 1 pygge and 2 hebs for the males and hardly 1 pygge for the females. The covering fur is long and silky and the underfur is wolly and keeps the cold away from the skin. The fur is usually completely black, even though it isn't uncommon to see small breast spots in a soft yellow or even white colour. Researchers have found out that the Moss Bear has 42 teeth and thus the same dental formula as most canines, this will say 3+3 incisors, 1+1 canines, 4+4 premolars and 2+3 molars. Moss Bears also have an excellent sense of smelling even though they have a very poor eyesight, as their eyes are very small.
The Moss Bear carries most of its weight on the shorter front limbs, thus giving
it a rolling walk. But this doesn't mean it is slow, it is actually quite fast,
a good climber and a great wanderer.
The diminished sense of sight is not an obstacle for the Moss Bear when it comes
to find its food or escape predators. Its keen sense of smell permits it to find
the fruits and insects they feed of with astoundishing precision, and it is
known that this particular bear can detect the smell of a
human over distances of even 1 or 2 strals
Territory. The Moss Bear is found in the Shaded Forest in Northern Sarvonia and also on some forested parts of the Nybelmar continent.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Moss Bear is a solitary animal that only couples up in the mating period. Moss Bears usually have a certain small cave or hollow tree that they use as a permanent lair and their territory is buildt around this lair. The bears sleep most of the night in this "home" and seek for food most of the night, being a nocturnal or semi-nocturnal animal. During the cold winters the Moss Bear hibernates. To do this it has a thick layer of fat that it accumulates during the summer.
Moss Bears shun inhabited areas as well as they can and the mere smell of a human or an elf may be enough to make them leave the area immediately. The few people that have been attacked by Moss Bears are those that deliberately intrude in their territory. The only exception to this are female bears with cubs, they are extremely dangerous and it is best to avoid them at all cost. The Moss Bear marks it territory by rubbing itself against trees and rocks and leaving a quite distinctive, musky smell that keeps other Moss Bears away. When threatened the bear rises on its hind legs and growls, but as already mentioned it is very rare that it attacks. The Moss Bear would rather escape the threat using its speed and agility.
Diet. The Moss Bear is a vegetarian and insectivore that never eats meat. Moss Bears feed on the fruits of the redberry and waterberry bush. They also feed on locusts, brown orms as well as the sour fruits of the meldarapple tree.
Mating. The Moss Bear has its heat season in the late spring, during the months of alé'veván and dál'injerá. The female bears are ready to mate when they reach the age of 2 years, the males however can mate when they are 1 1/2 year old. During the heat season the musky smell of the female bears is more intense and this attracts the males, the female chooses its mate based on size, for the bigger the bear, the better. The bear couples stay together for the season leaving each other when the mating is over. The matings, usually two ot three, take place in the darker parts of the forest. After the last mating the female drives the male away with growls and threatening behavior, but there isn't any real aggression between the bears.
The pregnancy lasts 9 months and the cubs are born during hibernation, there are usually two each litter. The cubs are small, almost the size of kittens, and they are born blind. After three weeks they open their eyes but they are not able to see before after approx. a month. When they reach the age of 10 months they abandon their mother to wander on their own.
Usages. When a Moss Bear is killed there are only two usages to give it. The fur of the Moss Bear is so long and so silky it can actually be spun into yarn of the finest quality. This yarn is used to make winter clothes that can endure very low temperatures and is also water repellent. The clothes of Moss Bear yarn are usually made by the Injerín elves that use the clothings as trade items with their northern neighbours. Also the meat of the Moss Bear is sweet and considered quite a treat by the Injerín elves.
Information provided by Lucirina Telor Vevan