Clip | Bears - Meet the Real-Life Paddington Bear

The spectacled bear is the species on which the character Paddington Bear is based. And just like the fictional character’s love for marmalade sandwiches, this spectacled bear has a sweet tooth.

Transcript Print

- [Narrator] The Andes Mountains in South America, home to this continent's only bear.

White facial markings are a clue to its name, the spectacled bear.

But to many of us, it's far more familiar as the storybook character of Paddington, who came all the way from darkest Peru.

(playful music) Like is fictional counterpart, this bear has a sweet tooth.

Although in these cloud forests, marmalade sandwiches aren't an option.

(bird calls) Fortunately, there's another high-calorie food here.

(bird calls) (insect buzzes) Bromeliads, a family of plants that includes the pineapple.

Perched yards off the ground, they're out of reach for most large mammals.

Bromeliads are notoriously robust plants, but the spectacled bear can break them apart with ease.

That's because relative to its size, it has the largest jaw muscle of any bear species and grinding teeth that are secured into its jaws with three roots instead of two.

It's after the sugar-rich core.

(bear munches) The spectacled bear will also eat palm nuts, birds' eggs, and small animals, but half of its diet is made up of these high-energy plants.

(birds sing)