A bit more information on Patagonian Bears. Last weekend while visiting the lovely colonial town of Colonia del Sacramento in neighboring Uruguay (a UNESCO World Heritage site), I spotted a statue that reproduces an Arctotherium in the garden of one of the town's museums, and took the photograph posted above.
A terrible beast that could weigh up to 1,200 kg (2,650 lb), it would have been a formidable predator (and, like most modern bears, it ate insects, fruits, and carrion snatched from other predators).
It was the biggest predator on the whole planet at the end of the last Ice Age and, was the biggest bear that ever existed (larger even than polar bears, which do not weigh more than 1,000 kg - 2,200 lb.). It was also the world's southernmost bear.
Then, quite suddenly it became extinct about ten thousand years ago. Perhaps due to the fact that its megafaunal prey became extinct too or, maybe because humans who had come on the scene at about the same time, hunted it to death.
Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©