Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
forest-dwelling member of the family Ursidae that inhabits tropical or subtropical regions of India and Sri Lanka. Named for its slow-moving habits, the sloth bear has poor senses of sight and hearing but has a good sense of smell. Various adaptations equip this nocturnal animal for raiding insect colonies. With long, curved front claws (extending from large paws), it digs toward and rips open a nest of bees or termites. Inserting its long snout into the nest and closing its nostrils (thereby preventing entry of insects into its respiratory passages), the sloth bear opens its protrusible lips and sucks in the insects through the gap caused by the lack of central upper incisors. Supplements to this diet include fruit, honey, grains, and small vertebrates.