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Protursus is an extinct genus of bear belonging to the family Ailuridae of which the red panda is the only living representitive. Protursus is believed to have evolved from Ursavus elmensis about 10 million years ago and given rise to the Ursus line through Ursus minimus between 6 and 5 million years ago.

Protursus is represented by just a few fossils. In fact, the original description of Protursus was based on a single molar tooth found at Can Llobateres, a Middle Miocene site near Barcelona, Spain. Paleontologists were able to show from just a tooth that it was a new species of bear. They determined that it was more advanced than Ursavus, yet less evolved than Ursus.

Protursus simpsoni is the only known species of the genus. It was about the size of a large dog, having square molars, heavy limbs, and a shorter tail than its predecessors (attributes shared with Ursinae). Protursus was assigned to the Ursidae family in 1976 by Miquel Crusafont-Pair and Bjorn Kurtn, and was later assigned to the Ailuridae family in 2005 by Stephane Peigne et al.

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