Райчо Гънчев [Raicho Gunchev]
30 April 1990 · volume 2
· pp. 67–78 · PDF [full text]
[no abstract available originally]
[Summary]: An attempt is made to determine some exterior and somatic features of the brown bear (Ursus arctos L.) inhabiting Bulgaria. Twenty-eight specimens were investigated on the basis of nine external morphological parameters. The anatomical data of eleven specimens were recorded and visual assessment was made of 194 animals and 228 footprints. The somatic development of these specimens is analysed, taking into account its intensive growth in the period between 4 and 6 years. The average weight of one-year-old offspring is about 8 kg, with 7x5 cm dimensions of the footprint of one of the hind legs. The average weight of animals between 1 and 3 years is 48 kg (max 60, min 35 kg), with 14x9 cm posterior footprint. The average weight of the fully grown specimens is 171 kg (max 321, min 72 kg) with 95 cm hip height and 23 x 14 cm posterior footprint. The weight depends on genetic factors, on individuality and on the seasonal deposition of fatty tissues, which ranges within very wide limits: from 1 to 68 kg. The weight of the skin is about 12% from the total weight, fats are about 15%, the gastrointestinal tract — 5%, the viscera — 3%. The analysis of the footprints of the bear indicate prevalence of specimens with 12-14 cm width of the footprint of the foreleg (40% of the total number) and 20-22 cm length of the posterior footprint (26%). Most prevalent among the visually recorded bears are the middle-sized (100-200 kg) ones — 49%. Larger bears (200-250 kg) and very large bears (above 250 kg) are less frequent — 6 and 2% respectively. An attempt is made of partial characterization of the pelt. Its colour is provisionally classified in three types: dark brown to black, chestnut-brown and light brown to goldish.