Long tailed bear in new issue of FT

A

Anonymous

Guest
On the Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo page, there is a report of a stuffed specimen of a possible unknown species of bear, with a long bushy tail in (I think, dont have the mag on me but read it in W H Smiths earlier) an Indian hotel - described as about the size of a juvenile black bear, but golden brown and with a bushy tail resembling the tail of a wolverine. However it was clearly not a wolverine as there was a stuffed wolverine next to it which was very much smaller.

There is also a photo in the magazine which is from a different source, but probably shows the same stuffed specimen (although the tail is not clearly visible in the photo), but it shows a golden brown stuffed bear next to a very much smaller stuffed wolverine. The animal's head and front limbs are very clearly those of a fairly normal looking bear, but no known bear has a long bushy tail.

Could anyone scan in the photo?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I dont have a photo but it does put me in mind of a large prehistoric bear skeleton I was looking at earlier last week in my local museum.
It had a large bushy tail too apparently, but was about the size of an elephant.

I suppose by the bear face and front legs there is no reason to suggest that this creature is a large member of the mustelid family?
 

marion

Ungnoing.
Joined
Nov 3, 2001
Messages
1,574
Reaction score
252
Points
94
Remember too you can't always trust taxidermists to keep to the original shape of the animal whose skin they are using !
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Or limbs eyes teeth hair skin anything.
Just look at the Kelpi mermaid or the Duck billed platypus. No wait that one was real :p
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,158
Reaction score
9,206
Points
284
But a long-tailed bear is an excellent description of either Ursa Major or Ursa Minor!

Um, ancient civilizations, or summink...?!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
So what your saying rynner that in the stars there is a bear with a tail?Can you point me in the direction of some illustrations of what these ancient astrologers belived the creature looked like.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,158
Reaction score
9,206
Points
284
The traditional constellation pictures do show bears with improbably long tails, which is rather puzzling as extant bear species have very short tails, as far as I know.

I have seen these pics in many books, and presumably Googling on the names I gave, or Great Bear and Little Bear, would turn up online examples. (Sorry, too busy to look it up for you!)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I found this but It doesnt seem to have a tail, It shows the stars but it seems to not be a part of the creature.

http://einstein.stcloudstate.edu/Dome/constellns/images/ursamajor.jpg

This picture however shows the tail. Does seem pretty long for a bear.

http://www.coldwater.k12.mi.us/lms/planetarium/myth/UMa-myth.gif

Here is another

http://stardate.org/images/constellations/ursa_major.gif



I also didnt know that Ursa Major and Ursa minor incorporated the big and little dipper. You learn something new everyday. Ill need to get myself a telescope once I save up some cash.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The story on why Ursa Major and Ursa Minor have long tails goes like this:

Zeus had an affair with a beautiful wood nymph (sorry, I've forgotten her name); she got pregnant and had a son. Zeus' wife found out about the affair and, in revenge, turned the nymph into a huge bear. The little boy was wandering through the forest, calling for his mother, but she was hiding because she was so ashamed of her looks. Zeus took pity on the child and turned him into a bear, too. Then he grabbed them each by the tail and threw them up into the night sky, which caused their tails to stretch out long.

End of story. (End of tail?) :p
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Wasn't there a type of bear that lived in Asia Minor and Eastern Europe until relatively recently - the Carpathian bear? Or is it still alive? There may be a few left in Poland or something. Anyway that would seem the likeliest candidate for the ancient Greeks to know about, perhaps?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
http://www.library.wisc.edu/etext/WIReader/WER1611-3.html

This may be totally irrelevant but here there is a reference to native Americans having a long-tailed bear as their totem animal:

"Pa-na-shee (Number 3) is a warrior of the totem or clan of the Long-tailed Bear. This is a mythological creation of the Chippewas, by whom it is believed that such an animal has a subterranean existence; that he is sometimes seen above ground; and that his tail, the peculiar feature in which he differs from the northern black bear, is formed of copper, or some bright metal."

So there you have it. Copper. Check out the pics - looks more like a capybara or summit to me...
 

marion

Ungnoing.
Joined
Nov 3, 2001
Messages
1,574
Reaction score
252
Points
94
tomsk said:
So there you have it. Copper. Check out the pics - looks more like a capybara or summit to me...

Capybaras don't have tails !
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Sorry, it wasnt in India, but in Michigan (US). Dunno why I thought that.
 
Top