Favored masts such as hazelnuts, oak acorns and whitebark pine nuts may be consumed by the hundreds each day by a single American black bear during the fall. Their circadian rhythm stays intact during hibernation. Today, they are primarily limited to sparsely settled, forested areas. They are also capable of rapidly learning to distinguish different shapes such as small triangles, circles and squares.  American black bears are excellent and strong swimmers, swimming for pleasure and to feed (largely on fish). The head is small but is supported by a strong neck. , Surveys taken from 35 states in the early 1990s indicate that American black bears are either stable or increasing, except in Idaho and New Mexico.  A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found that 53% of New Jersey voters approved of the new season if scientists concluded that American black bears were leaving their usual habitats and destroying private property. In mountainous areas, they seek southerly slopes at lower elevations for forage and move to northerly and easterly slopes at higher elevations as summer progresses. Hibernation in American black bears typically lasts 3–8 months, depending on regional climate. in admiration for the American black bear's intelligence, would decorate the heads of bears they killed with trinkets and place them on blankets. In the coastal areas of the Southeast (such as Florida, the Carolinas and Louisiana), bears inhabit a mixture of flatwoods, bays and swampy hardwood sites. ... Read More→ An average male weighs 136 kg (300 lb). Although the mother is very protective of her litter, young cubs may be killed by coyotes, wolves, brown bears, or other black bears. Thousands of new, high-quality pictures added every day. Black bears and brown bears are the only two bear species not threatened with extinction. Animal Tracks and Scat of California … The vestigial tail is usually 4.8 inches (120 mm) long.  Also extremely important in fall are berries such as huckleberries and buffalo berries.  Females have been shown to be pickier in their choice of dens in comparison to males. , American black bears do occasionally compete with cougars over carcasses. Tobacco smoke would be wafted into the disembodied head's nostrils by the hunter that dealt the killing blow, who would compliment the animal for its courage. Grizzly (and other types of brown) bears can be distinguished by their shoulder hump, larger size and broader, more concave skull. A bear in pursuit of a pet dog can threaten both canid and human lives. The head is small but is supported by a strong neck. Black bear tracks have 5 toes and wide palm pads.  The fictional character Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Winnipeg, a female American black bear cub that lived at the London Zoo from 1915 until her death in 1934.  However, in the Liard River Hot Springs case, the bear was apparently almost fully dependent on a local garbage dump that had closed and so was starving to death. According to Jack Hanna's Monkeys on the Interstate, a bear captured in Sanford, Florida, was thought to have been the offspring of an escaped female Asian black bear and a male American black bear. Black bear, (Ursus americanus), also called American bear, the most common bear (family Ursidae), found in the forests of North America, including parts of Mexico. Further north, they may not be seen until late March, April, or even early May. The hunting methods and seasons vary greatly according to state, with some bear hunting seasons including fall only, spring and fall, or year-round.  Remarkably, a study of American black bears in Nevada found that the amount of annual mortality of a population of bears in wilderness areas was 0%, whereas in developed areas in the state this figure rose to 83%. , The fur is soft, with dense underfur and long, coarse, thick guard hairs. These include refuse, birdseed, agricultural products and honey from apiaries. As opportunistic feeders, black bears will also eat pinecones, roots, ants, and honey from wild or domestic bees. Bear hunting had been banned in New Jersey for five years before that time. The spruce-fir forest dominates much of the range of the American black bear in the Rockies.  American black bears currently inhabit much of their original Canadian range, though they seldom occur in the southern farmlands of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; they have been extirpated on Prince Edward Island since 1937. Predation on adult deer is rare, but it has been recorded. , The bears enter their dens in October and November, although in the southernmost areas of their range (i.e. Black bears are promiscuous, males and females often mating with several individuals. Public Approves of Bear Hunt", Wildlifeinformation.org: American Black Bear Conservation Action Plan. Unlike gray wolves and coyotes, American black bears rarely scatter the remains of their kills. The hind legs are relatively longer than those of Asian black bears. They spend the winter in dens located in rock crevices, in underground burrows, under tree roots, in hollow trees, in brush piles, or simply on open-ground beds. The ears are small and rounded. In aggressive interactions, American black bears produce deep-throated pulsing sounds.  American and Asian black bears are considered sister taxa and are more closely related to each other than to the other modern species of bears. In the reports published since this date three species have produced young (hybrids in one case), ..., A bear shot in autumn 1986 in Michigan was thought by some to be an American black bear/grizzly bear hybrid, due to its unusually large size and its proportionately larger brain case and skull. They are sometimes attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. , The ancestors of American black bears and Asian black bears diverged from sun bears 4.58 mya. However, at abundant food sources (e.g. Black Bear Diner: Good size helpings - See 93 traveler reviews, 39 candid photos, and great deals for Manteca, CA, at Tripadvisor. Black Bear. Amazon's Choice recommends highly rated and well-priced products. Over much of their range, American black bears are assured scavengers that can intimidate, using their large size and considerable strength, and if necessary dominate other predators in confrontations over carcasses. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/animal/black-bear, black bear - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up).  In New York, the two sexes reportedly average 135 kg (298 lb) and 74 kg (163 lb), respectively. Keeping the fat on tends to give the meat a strong flavor. Has brown or reddish-brown fur, reminiscent of cinnamon. Born blind, fully furred, and toothless, the cubs remain with the mother for 16 months, and the female breeds every second or third year. [page needed] The most favored cuts of the American black bear's meat are concentrated in the legs and loins. Unlike the hunting of hibernating grizzly bears, which was fraught with danger, hibernating American black bears took longer to awaken and hunting them was thus safer and easier.  The breeding period usually occurs in the June–July period, though it can extend to August in the species' northern range. The paws of the species are relatively large, with a rear foot length of 13.7 to 22.5 cm (5.4 to 8.9 in), which is proportionately larger than other medium-sized bear species, but much smaller than the paws of large adult brown, and especially polar, bears. American black bears tend to escape competition from brown bears by being more active in the daytime and living in more densely forested areas. The retention of waste during hibernation (specifically in minerals such as calcium) may play a role in the bear's resistance to atrophy.. , In British Columbia, a group of American black bears were used as guard animals to protect a marijuana plantation.. During the autumn hyperphagia, feeding becomes virtually the full-time task of American black bears. Finally, mature males tend to come out earliest, followed by immature males and females, and lastly mothers with cubs.  The physiology of American black bears in the wild is closely related to that of bears in captivity. All provinces indicated stable populations of American black bears over the last decade. The body temperature of the American black bear does not drop significantly, like other mammalian hibernators (staying around 35 °C (95 °F)) and they remain somewhat alert and active. [page needed] According to recent studies, the sun bear is also a relatively recent split from this lineage. American black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species and occasionally produce hybrid offspring. [page needed] In almost every case where open garbage dumps that attracted American black bears were closed and handouts ceased, the number of aggressive encounters dropped.  Of 1,028 incidents of aggressive acts toward humans, recorded from 1964 to 1976 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 resulted in injury and occurred mainly in tourist hot spots where people regularly fed the bears handouts. The size of the bear is 2/3 the size of the hoist width and has a ratio of 2 by 1. Black bears have shorter nails (1.5”) which help them to climb trees, not a brown bear’s forte. , At least one jaguar (Panthera onca) has been recorded to have attacked and eaten a black bear: "El Jefe", the jaguar famous for being the first jaguar seen in the United States in over a century. Their claws are typically black or grayish-brown. In Virginia, the total length of adult bear skulls was found to average 262 to 317 mm (10.3 to 12.5 in).  The Navajo believed that the Big Black Bear was chief among the bears of the four directions surrounding Sun's house and would pray to it in order to be granted its protection during raids. As only a small portion of this fat could be harvested for this purpose, the oil was often mixed with large quantities of hog lard.  Like brown bears, American black bears try to use surprise to ambush their prey and target the weak, injured, sickly or dying animals in the herds. The American black bear consists of only one species, but its colour varies, even among members of the same litter. Approximately 10% of the population of this subspecies have white or cream-colored coats due to a recessive gene and are called "Kermode bears" or "spirit bears". As the spring temperature warms, American black bears seek new shoots of many plant species, especially new grasses, wetland plants and forbs. Used in good condition.  In the western states, where there are large American black bear populations, there are spring and year-round seasons. [page needed] In Kwakiutl mythology, American black and brown bears became enemies when Grizzly Bear Woman killed Black Bear Woman for being lazy.  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