American black bear

by breckin


Black bears may be the least carnivorous of the "carnivores" of North America. They consume a wide variety of seasonally abundant herbs, forbs, fruits, berries, nuts, and other plant parts and products.The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most widely distributed bear species. Black bears are omnivores with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. The American black bear is the world's most common bear species.

It is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, due to the species' widespread distribution and a large global population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. Along with the brown bear, it is one of only two of the eight modern bear species not considered globally threatened with extinction by the IUCN. American black bears often mark trees using their teeth and claws as a form of communication with other bears, a behavior common to many species of bears.


American black bears are native to North America and can be found throughout the United States, Canada, and northern Mexico. While they are only found in eight states of northern Mexico, black bears presently occupy 41 of the 50 U.S. states and reside in all provinces and territories of Canada, with the exception of Prince Edward Island. The Ursus americanus floridanus, which is the subspecies that exists in Florida, also resides in Alabama and southern Georgia.


Male: 880 lbs (399 kgs), Craven Co., NC, 1998 or or 902 lbs (410 kg) field-dressed, Quebec, 1976.Males of breeding age: 125-500 lbs or more.Females of breeding age: 90-300 lbs or more.Male black bears can weigh between 150-600 pounds when they are full grown. Female black bears only weigh between 90-300 pounds. Surprisingly, bears only weigh about 8-12 ounces.


Newborn cubs are smaller, relative to their mother's size, than the young of any other placental mammal. They are totally dependent on their mothers. Newborn cubs have little fur, weigh less than a pound, and can barely crawl. Three cubs is the most common litter size around Ely.

Around Ely, temperatures at the time of birth in January can be 60 degrees (F) below zero. Most dens are no warmer than the outside air because most den entrances are open. Some "dens" are simply nests on the ground surface.


How tall is an American black bear?The height of a bear is measured from the bottom of its paw, flat on the ground, to the highest point of the shoulders. An adult male American black bear will measure between 2½ and 3 feet tall. This is approximately the same height as a Siberian tiger.


There predators are packs of wolves and sometimes other bears.

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