Bears are animals that are mentioned only minimally in the How to Train Your Dragon Book series.
Bears are the largest present-day land carnivores and are seen worldwide. Despite this range, there are only eight recognized species. The Polar bear is the largest, and its diet is almost exclusively flesh. The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest species and eats fruits, honey, and insects. In contrast, the Panda Bear - while a bear in the Order Carnivora - has an extremely limited diet of only Bamboo. Other bear species vary from mostly meat and fish to heavily relying on plant material like fruits and tubers; they are opportunistic omnivores.
Two species of bear are mentioned in the Book series - the Polar Bear and the Brown or Grizzly Bear.
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is exclusively adapted to cold climates and it distribution is in and around the Arctic Circle. It relies heavily on ice sheet and pack ice for movement and hunting. The polar bear's diet consists almost exclusively of meat, and that being largely seals. However, they have been known to go after beluga and Narwhal whales, penguins, Reindeer, and any other edible meat source whether alive or dead. They also consume berries, roots, and kelp, but these do not make up a significant part of their diets.
The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a familiar bear across many countries. In the United States, brown bears are often called Grizzly Bears. Brown bears seem to generally prefer wooded areas and sparsely treed mountainous regions, but have been seen in tundra habitats. These bears once had a much larger range then they currently do worldwide and could be found on open grasslands, and steppe areas. Their diet is highly variable and ranges from meat and fish to insects and other invertebrates to fruits and grasses to even mosses and mushrooms.
The brown bear is recognized as a national and state animal in several European countries.
In the Book series, only bear parts - namely the hide and fur - are seen. They are also mentioned as a descriptor for other things.
In reality, bear is also eaten in addition to utilizing the fur. Bear parts are used in some traditional Asian medicine practices. Bears can also be used for entertainment purposes such as circuses and bear-baiting.
When introducing Gobber the Belch in Book 4, he is compared to a "grizzly bear with a dirty red beard and an attitude problem."
|“||Enormous white rugs made out of the skin of polar bears were strewn about the floor.||”|
|— Book 4|
The Hysteric Tribe appears to have hunted polar bears, or at least traded for polar bear fur, and used them as rugs in their village Great Hall.
Later, Toothless knocks over a candle onto a polar bear rug, catching it on fire.